Cowra Special Needs Service calls for Social Support volunteers

Rosemary Bridge, Robin Mylchreest and volunteer Robyn Burgers.
Rosemary Bridge, Robin Mylchreest and volunteer Robyn Burgers.

With an ageing population in Cowra, there is increasing pressure on service providers to be able to help elderly residents who wish to remain independent in their own home. 

This is where Cowra Special Needs Service (CSNS) needs your help.

The service is calling for more volunteers for its Social Support Program. 

CSNS Manager Tracy Ford, said the program is an entry-based level before My Aged Care clients move onto packages if they are eligible. 

“Most of our referrals through Social Support are not for that high level care, it’s more if they are socially isolated and they need some social interaction or if they need some assistance in getting to medical appointments or with their shopping,” she said. 

“It’s a voluntarily run service, it always has been, apart from Sarah [Hazell, Social Support Coordinator]. It’s all reliant on volunteers and we currently have some absolutely wonderful volunteers but they are really stretched.”

Social Support Coordinator, Sarah Hazell said volunteers could help with transport or simply provide social interaction. 

“Mostly shopping and the transport is the main thing, still assisting them to remain independent in their own home. We help them rather then do for them,” she said. 

“The clients are really needing one to one support, they are not really looking to go out on a group outing, they really want someone to come in their home and help them.”

She said volunteering is flexible. 

“The main thing is it’s all about them, so they don’t feel like they have to be offering certain days or times or they have to offering ‘x’ amount of hours,” she said. 

“If they do just want to focus on a phone call or a companion visit or a drop in support, we don’t have that because we are too busy trying to do the medical priorities.”

Volunteers must be over the age of 18 and have a police check, with a driver’s licence also recommended. 

“They come up to the centre here and see Sarah or Kristy, we have a volunteer pack that we give out that explains everything to them and they just complete an application,” Tracy said. 

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