What is the Community Visitor Scheme?
The Community Visitor Scheme is an Australian government initiative that aims to reduce and/or prevent the experience of social isolation and loneliness amongst older Australians. The Community Visitor Scheme achieves this by matching volunteers to older Australians in receipt of a current aged care package.
Having social connections is essential for maintaining mental and physical health, particularly as people age. Some of the reasons older Australians feel a sense of social disconnection isolation and loneliness can include:
- A lack of contact with friends or family;
- A lack of connection to culture and heritage;
- Reduced mobility preventing participation in social activities.
Older Australians identified as at a higher risk of feeling social isolation can include:
- People from diverse backgrounds who may be isolated from their community
- People who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless
People from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures
- People who are financially or socially disadvantaged
- Parents separated from their children
- People who live in remote areas
- LGBTQI+ people
- Care leavers
Inclusion Melbourne has been a proud auspice of the Community Visitor Scheme since 2014. Our role as an auspice is to:
- Recruit, train and support Friendly Visitors;
- Match Friendly Visitors to recipients of the program; and
- Support the relationship between Friendly Visitors and recipients.
What do Community Visitors do?
Community Visitors are matched to older Australians based on mutual interests, needs and locality. Community Visitors and their recipient catch up for two hours a week either weekdays or weekends at home or in the community and some activities include:
- Going for a walk;
- Catching up over the phone;
- Catching up over a tea or coffee;
- Going to cafes, galleries, the movies or other places of interest.
How do you become a Community Visitor?
Are you a student looking for a meaningful way to spend your weekends or evenings & gain real world experience to complement your studies? Or are you retired and have lots of time to fill? You may have been out of the workforce for a time and want to develop some new skills or revisit some old ones or you may just want to enrich your life by giving back to the community. Regardless of your motivation, age or background there are many options for volunteering with Inclusion Melbourne with full training and support provided.
Prospective volunteers must be willing to have an influenza injection, and provide evidence of this at the interview stage.
- Availability: Weekdays and Weekends
- Minimum Commitment: 12 Months for weekly contact
If would like to volunteer you can apply to become a Community Visitor through our volunteer roles page.
To request a Friendly Visitor please contact us on 9509 4266 and ask to talk to the Community Support team.