Open Your Heart
In the spirit of the Valentine’s Day season, Community Care Northumberland (CCN) hopes that the public will open their hearts to local seniors or adults with disabilities by volunteering some time in their Friendly Visiting program.
“Friendly Visiting volunteers offer companionship and conversation to people who live alone.” said Trish Baird – Executive Director of CCN. “Volunteers often take our clients out for walks in nice weather, read, play cards, board games or other social activities that are of interest to both them and the client.”
“Having a friendly visitor allows me to sometimes get out into the community as I need an arm because I am unsteady on my feet,” said a CCN client. “My friendly visitor and I have taken the town transit and gone to the Mall; walked along the board walk at the beach and sometimes we just stay at my home and have a cup of tea and a chat.”
The friendly visiting program works through matches. The CCN program staff match volunteers with clients based on their common interests. The volunteer then arranges the visits with their matched client. The commitment is only a few hours a week and at their mutual convenience and location. Visits can occur in the client’s home or for example, a trip to a local coffee shop.
Port Hope resident Preston Merrill and his wife Marg Merrill both volunteer their time to CCN.
“Marg and I volunteer for similar reasons. We both enjoy the opportunity to meet people we would never know otherwise and to provide simple but appreciated services while enjoying the often remarkable stories the clients share with us.” said Preston Merrill. “The expressions of gratitude we receive are a bonus since, as many volunteers say, we get as much or more than we give. And, at the back of our minds is the thought that we might someday be clients for these same Community Care Northumberland services.”
Clients are individuals in the community who could benefit from one-on-one company and companionship. If you have patience, with a caring and pleasant personality, with just a few hours to spare, you can make a difference in someone’s life in your community.
For more information about this volunteer opportunity, please contact your local Community Care Northumberland office.
Linkage to coverage on Chex TV about Friendly Visiting program - Forging Friendships