Wesley Mission Queensland in Chermside Fights Loneliness Through Volunteers

Wesley Mission Queensland National Volunteer Week
Photo Credit: Supplied

One in four adults in Australia have volunteered since the Covid-19 pandemic, but Wesley Mission Queensland based in Chermside is providing flexible volunteering opportunities that are reviving interest and combating loneliness in aged care facilities across Brisbane.

Wesley Mission Queensland runs the volunteer-led, government-funded Aged Care Volunteer Visitor Scheme (ACVVS) in its aged care communities. The scheme aims to reduce the impacts of isolation and boredom amongst older Australians by pairing them with volunteer visitors for weekly or fortnightly visits over a cup of tea and a chat.  

Changing Volunteering Landscape

While volunteering rates have steadily declined across Australia since 2010, Wesley Mission Queensland has maintained a steady volunteer base by offering flexible, short-term opportunities tailored to people’s lifestyles. 

“With the average age of our volunteer network now being 49 years old, we understand that people wish to give back in ad hoc opportunities which suit their lifestyle. They also seek to be engaged in a number of short-term volunteer opportunities to grow their portfolio and ‘try before they buy’,” said Volunteer Relations Manager Nicole Mujdrica.

The ACVVS combats social isolation and loneliness among older Australians and offers a profound sense of purpose to volunteers from diverse backgrounds. 

“Volunteering and spending time with Maureen (aged care resident) has really put things in perspective for me. It helps me to be more present and value my good health and age now because I know it doesn’t last forever,” Lisa Bellamywells, a 52-year-old mother balancing part-time work and family responsibilities, said. 

Mitchell Ward, a 32-year-old former support worker who joined in February 2024.

“I love spending time with the oldies, making them feel comfortable and to brighten their day it makes me feel good giving back to the community.”  

Wesley Mission Queensland National Volunteer Week
Photo Credit: Supplied

Call to Action for National Volunteer Week

As National Volunteer Week is celebrated from May 20-26, Wesley Mission Queensland invites individuals of all ages to volunteer and drive positive change in their communities through the Aged Care Volunteer Visitor Scheme.

 “It’s only an hour out of your week that makes a massive difference to the residents’ entire week – I hope someone is compassionate enough to spend an hour with me in my older years,” Lisa said.

Published 24-May-2024