Age is no limit for volunteer Joan

Even as she approaches her 82nd birthday Joan is still a committed volunteer. A social support volunteer with Intereach for nearly eight years, Joan still isn’t planning to slow down any time soon.

 

Intereach Social Support is one of many services available at Intereach, and is designed to help older people stay active and involved in their local communities, reduce loneliness and social isolation. Volunteers like Joan can visit people at home, go on outings, help with grocery shopping, or simply have a cuppa and a good chat.

 

Joan said, “It’s more than just helping someone do their shopping, or having a chat, although these are really important. It’s being there, it’s a familiar face, a smile and, hopefully, a friend. Everyone needs a friend and it means a lot to me to be able to bring a smile to someone’s face or help them get through their day to day challenges.”

 

The decision to become a volunteer was an easy one for Joan. Despite living in the local area for more than 30 years, Joan still felt like she didn’t know as many people around town as she would like, and she thought volunteering might help.

 

“It worked!” Joan said. “I’ve met some wonderful people and have made new friends. I enjoy meeting people and being able to give something back to the community.”

 

A keen cook, Joan often shares what she bakes with the people she supports. “It’s just one of the ways I can show people that I care. And after all, who doesn’t like a biscuit or a piece of fruit cake?” she said.

 

Another bonus of volunteering according to Joan is finding out about all the different services, activities and programs available at Intereach, such as the weekly therapeutic exercise group which she now attends herself.

 

“I get a lot of pleasure out of volunteering and it’s as good for me as it is for the people I support. I think the reason I enjoy volunteering so much is because I’m interested in other people and their lives. It also keeps me busy and I get to meet such wonderful and inspiring people.”

Want to find out more about volunteering with Intereach, or interested to know how Intereach social support can help you or your loved one? Contact the Intereach Community Support Team on 03 5890 5200 or email cstw@intereach.com.au