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Connections to combat loneliness

Connections to combat loneliness – Age Concern volunteer managers making a difference

Today is International Volunteer Managers Day and Age Concern is celebrating its own wonderful volunteer managers.

“Volunteers and their managers are vital to Age Concern, and support our work in many different ways. Our Accredited Visiting Service coordinators manage over 2,000 dedicated volunteer visitors aged from 18 to over 90, who make a huge difference in the lives of lonely and socially isolated older people throughout New Zealand” said Age Concern CEO Ann Martin today.

Andrea Billingsley, the Tauranga coordinator, says, “Our volunteer visitors make such a difference that it’s challenging to fill the gap when a really great volunteer visitor has to step back from their role. It’s important to respond quickly, as the older person can come to really rely on their weekly visit, and the friendship and support that the volunteer provides.”

Andrea adds, “I love the job. The best part for me is going out to assess the older people. I want to make a good match with the right volunteer, so I often spend an hour at the first interview learning about their lives, their jobs, their loves. Quality matches can sometimes last for years, and we screen and train volunteers carefully at the beginning, so that we find people who are willing to commit to the role.”

Today organizations across the globe will be celebrating their Volunteer Managers and the wonderful contributions they make.

To volunteer for Age Concern, visit our website at www.ageconcern.org.nz or call your local Age Concern.


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