Volunteer Programs

Polish Community Care Services Inc. provides volunteer programs to the elderly living in their homes, as well as nursing homes.

We run two programs: Service System Development Program and the Community Visitors Scheme.

What is the Service System Development (SSD) Program?

SSD is a program which supports people living in their own homes.

The SSD program:

  • Performs a caring, monitoring function, and where appropriate, provides encouragement to participate actively in community life
  • Increases access to services and activities.
  • Increase independence and reduces isolation.
  • Offers support and encouragement.
  • Provides companionship/ friendship on a regular basis.

SSD provides a range of support services:

  • Friendly Visiting Program – Polish-speaking volunteers are recruited and trained to visit elderly people and younger people with disabilities.
  • Telelink – telephone contact is maintained on a regular basis.
  • Carer group – providing emotional support and counselling for carers.

Friendly Visiting Program

The aim of this program is to activate the life of the elderly and younger people with disabilities.

Trained volunteers visit clients living in their homes, keep them company, and try to create a feeling of friendship and trust.

Social contacts are very important because they reinforce a sense of security and give meaning to life. This is especially important for the elderly and people with a disability.

The program is responsible for the assessment of referred clients and matches eligible clients to appropriate volunteers.

Our program aims to reduce feelings of isolation, to encourage people to make connections with local groups and to re-enable people to participate in social life.

Telelink

A form of teleconferencing where up to ten people chat together as a group.

Telelink provides valuable social support, interaction and ‘phone friendship’ for isolated older people. They are linked once a week for one hour. Telelink was set up in response to the PCCV’s concerns for the needs of lonely and isolated older people and their carers.

Carers group

This group is aimed at supporting Victorians who care for a family member or friend with a disability, mental or chronic illness, or for someone who is frail and aged. We help carers of Polish background. We help families to get the practical and emotional support they need.

We aim to do this through:

  • Emotional support and counselling
  • Research, policy and systemic change
  • Practical support and respite
  • Education and development
  • Information and service

Who is eligible to participate in SSD Program?

  • Socially isolated
  • No longer able to participate in social activities outside the home.

What is the Community Visitors Scheme?

The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is an Australian Government funded program that aims to enrich the quality of life for elderly Australian who experience loneliness and social isolation.

Any Australian senior who does not have quality contact with friends or relatives from outside their home/residential aged care home and/or who experiences isolation from their culture or heritage can become a care recipient. The candidate must be a resident of an aged care home, or be a Home Care Package recipient.

Seniors who satisfy requirements may benefit from friendly visitors who can provide regular companionship.  The program also helps seniors to feel more connected with the Polish community in Victoria.

Who can make referrals?

A referral to the Community Visitors Scheme may be made by you or by another person.

If you know someone who is living at home and whose quality of life would be enriched by friendly visits, please contact our CVS Coordinator.

If the person resides in an aged care facility – please speak to the residential home’s management team about the program or contact the PCCV office.

What is a Community Visitor?

Community visitors are volunteers who regularly visit elderly people in their homes (home care package recipients) or in aged care facilities, at least once a fortnight, to provide companionship and develop a relationship with the residents.

Activities conducted during CV visits will depend on the resident’s needs and interests. They will be enjoyable for both parties, for example: readings, listening to music, enjoying a cup of tea or taking a short walk. Depending on the health and mobility of the resident, visitors may also accompany their resident to social events.

Examples of possible activities:

  • Looking at photos
  • Sharing stories
  • Sitting and chatting
  • Sharing a hobby or activity
  • Reading a newspaper, book or magazine
  • Going for a walk or on an outing (coffee)
  • Watching a TV show or movie
  • Listening to music
  • Playing cards or board games

Volunteering

Befriending an elderly person is very rewarding. It gives the volunteer a sense of purpose, accomplishment and inner happiness.

A volunteer does not need special qualifications, only compassion and an understanding of the client’s situation. All that is needed is sheer passion and pleasure in regularly visiting elderly people with the same background and being able to speak their native language.

Volunteers can participate in the CVS Program and Friendly Visiting Program in the following ways:

CVS:

  1. Visiting two or more people in a group at an Aged Care facility.
  2. Visiting a person in their own home (Home Care Package recipients).

Friendly Visiting Program:

  1. Visiting a person in their own home
  2. Providing regular Telelink conversation activity.
  3. Providing emotional support and counselling for carers.
  4. Providing assistance for travel on Sunday’s service to church.

Who can be a Volunteer?

  • people over the age of 18,
  • people over the age of 85 are welcomed as volunteers but they cannot be covered by full volunteer insurance,
  • live reasonably close to one of the designated facilities,
  • have transport to get to the facility,
  • able to chat and relate to older people,
  • have the time to visit the residents in a residential aged care home every fortnight for about an hour or two on a consistent basis,
  • willing to undergo an application and orientation process,
  • willing to obtain a national Police Certificate and Statutory Declaration (if applicable) and meet the requirements regarding convictions,
  • willing to attend any required training.

Is this for me?

Are you:

  • Someone who wants to help others?
  • Able to listen to someone else’s stories or concerns with patience and understanding?
  • Someone who can spare an hour a fortnight/week and make a regular commitment to volunteering?

If YES then become our Volunteer.

What are the Benefits of participating in the Community Visitors Scheme?

The benefits are:

The benefits are:

  • friendship with an older or disabled person
  • appreciation from the person visited
  • appreciation from their facility
  • an opportunity to give something back to the community
  • an opportunity to serve the local community
  • flexibility and ease of visiting arrangements
  • closeness of the facility to the visitor
  • knowing that one hour of contact means so much to the person and to the visitor
  • opportunities to meet others who are also visiting
  • getting feedback from other visitors.

Volunteers will receive reimbursement and adequate training in line with Australian Government standards.

How to become a Volunteer in our organisation?

If you want to become a volunteer in our organisation or know of a person who would like to become a volunteer, please contact our office on (03) 9569 4020 and ask for the coordinators of the programs:

Sr Elżbieta Cieślarczyk – Community Visitor Scheme Coordinator

Mrs Ewa Kiżewski – Service System Development Program Coordinator