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Be the Highlight of Someone’s Day

Monday 9th May 2016

Media Release

Be the Highlight of Someone’s Day

Alzheimers Canterbury is looking for recruits to join its Volunteering Service by becoming a companion, driver or community activities assistant for people living with dementia in Canterbury.

Monique Schoneveld, who is the Volunteer Coordinator of Alzheimers Canterbury says: “We want clients (people with dementia) in our community to live well with dementia, to have fun and meaningful lives. Volunteers can play a huge role in this often being the highlight of their day.”

A Companion Volunteers visit a person with dementia on a weekly or fortnightly basis. You might go for a walk together, watch a movie or have a cuppa and a chat.

Activity Volunteers help with the community activities program we run, giving clients the opportunity to enjoy the things they used to in a normalised, safe and supported setting. Activities include swimming, community gardening, art appreciation, baking for Ronald McDonald and others.

The other invaluable way to make someone’s day is to be their personal driver. Many clients would have lost their driver’s license so transport can be a real hurdle in accessing the services.

Paul Alexander who is a Volunteer Driver shares: “I have never done any volunteer work in my life and some friends and relatives were probably surprised or rather in complete disbelief that I would undertake such an activity but it was always something I wanted to do.

Thus far everyone I have driven around (I drive them to various meetings and activities) has been genuinely appreciative and seem to really enjoy the groups which is a credit to Alzheimers Canterbury.

A trip in my sports car one day was greatly enjoyed by a certain lady in her 80’s which made me smile as much as her.

The couple of hours a week I spend on driving for Alzheimers Canterbury is the highest hourly rate I earn each week.”

There is a matching service to make sure the volunteer and the client are compatible.

To find out more about how to become someone’s highlight of the day, email monique@alzcanty.co.nz .


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