Celebrating our volunteers

Volunteer representatives from Illawarra, Shoalhaven and Macarthur regions gathered for a special luncheon to celebrate National Volunteer Week and the achievement of volunteering through a particularly challenging year.

The event was an opportunity the Diocese of Wollongong to thank volunteers and celebrate their incredible dedication. The Covid-19 pandemic has presented many challenges for our volunteers, yet they have continued to demonstrate care, compassion, bravery and support to the most vulnerable in our community.

The CatholicCare Community Visitor volunteers each received a certificate of appreciation and personal thanks from Bishop Brian Mascord, Director Michael Austin, Advisory Committee Chair Franca Facci and members of the executive team.

Director, Michael Austin said, "Amidst the pandemic, I know many of you wrote letters offering care, comfort and support for the well-being of the people you serve". "From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for your amazing contribution and service as volunteers for the work you do, and the difference you make," he said.

Volunteers and staff enjoyed a lunch at the Fraternity Club, fun lucky door prizes, and a Q&A panel, inviting volunteers John Costello and Ann Murphy to share their inspiring experiences of volunteering with CatholicCare.  

John, who has recently started volunteering, said , "If you're thinking about volunteering – Just do it."

Anne reflected on her time visiting five different people as a volunteer; "It's all worth it to see the smiles on their faces when I arrive."  She said, "It was tough to connect during Covid lockdowns, but I used the cards and stamps provided by CatholicCare to write to the people I normally visited and I also made lots of phone calls!".

The event was a wonderful opportunity to give genuine thanks for the amazing work our volunteers perform and support them on their journey to fulfil a vocation which offers them a sense of altruistic purpose and fulfilment.

The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) aims to improve the quality of life of socially isolated residents in Australian Government subsidised aged care homes by matching them with volunteer visitors.

Volunteers are matched with a resident who they can build bonds with as they visit regularly and provide companionship and conversations. Volunteers improve a resident's quality of life through friendship and help to establish and strengthen their links within the community.

For more information about how you can volunteer with CatholicCare give them a call on 4227 1122.

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