Community Visitors Scheme (CVS)
Providing companionship to socially isolated people
CVS is a national program funded by the Australian Department of Social Services
The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) is a national program funded by the Australian Department of Social Services that provides companionship to socially isolated people living in Australian Government-funded aged care homes and for those who receive Home Care Packages. The CVS service arranges community volunteers to visit selected residents on a regular, one-to-one basis or in a group. A CVS service (currently operating in the Aged Care Planning Regions of the Inner West and the South East of Sydney) has been provided by CPSA for 24 years. CPSA provides this service for residents and clients in the Aged Care Planning Regions of South East Sydney and the Inner West, which reaches from Kings Cross to Kirrawee and over to Bangor, and between Haberfield and Homebush.
As in previous years our recruitment and support for volunteers continues to be very successful and the number of volunteer visitors is over 100. Home visiting has been a very successful addition to the program as people who live at home are often isolated and very lonely.
Support groups are run regularly for volunteers, giving them the opportunity to discuss their concerns and challenges and also to meet other committed volunteers. Contact with volunteers is ongoing with regular newsletters, emails and phone contact.
The Community Visitors Scheme in its expanded version will continue to reduce isolation and loneliness and bring joy and friendship - its impact on the lives of the recipients cannot be overestimated.
Comments by our wonderful volunteers best describe the importance of the CVS service.
Each match is a special event and a good news story.
While I unpick and redo her knitting I ring her friends/family on my mobile for her to say hello to while I’m there and she loves that. I still see her every second Wednesday for two hours each time and she constantly tells me how she looks forward to our visits.
A wonderful volunteer who speaks Mandarin visited a very isolated Chinese man and on his death his granddaughter wrote:
I cannot thank you enough for the amount of time that you spent with … over the years. It was such a blessing to have you in his life. He always spoke very fondly of you.
R. has become like a family. She is so sweet and very loving. We have connected well. It is unfortunate that she suffers many health problems and a lot of pain. Luckily she has been better lately. I am looking forward to seeing her this coming Tuesday.
B. remembers me every time. As soon as I get to her room, she wants to go outside and introduce me to nurses as her friend. It’s been really lovely seeing her open up to me. She has not complained of bad vision or hearing etc. for quite some time, which she did at the beginning.
J. has always been well, up and about, telling everyone I’m her good friend who visits once a week. It’s always a pleasure to see her. He has been preparing extensively for our get-togethers, printing out images of mining and machines and collating old photos so they’ve been fascinating and lots of fun.
G. tells me every time I visit how much she enjoys our talks and she always looks forward to seeing me.