24 April 2020
As we’ve adjusted to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all had to find a new way of doing the things we love. Whether it’s staying in touch with friends or family, staying creative or keeping our minds active, we’ve all had to adapt and stay positive. The same has applied to volunteering at Arcare.
Arcare is very fortunate to be supported by over 400 dedicated and inspiring volunteers, who were keen to ensure they stayed in contact with clients during this period of preventative lockdown. Some volunteers have been making calls via Skype or phone, whilst others have written cards, letters or emails to stay in touch. As Volunteer Coordinator, I’ve had the privilege of speaking with many volunteers at this time, to ensure they complete the mandatory online Hand Hygiene training, and are up to date with their flu vaccination, when they recommence their volunteering duties in person.
This period of lockdown has highlighted the enormous contributions that volunteers make to Arcare residences, every single day of the week. Whether they attend during weekdays, or weekends, to visit clients, run small groups or assist with outings, each and every contribution is greatly valued. We very much look forward to the wonderful (long-awaited) day when we can officially welcome volunteers back to Arcare residences.
Among other beautiful contributions, a couple of inspiring volunteers responded to the call for finding ways we could bring continued daily laughs and interesting reading to clients. After some discussions, the concept of the Light-hearted Daily Worksheets was created. Both Daniele Brierley (Arcare Surrey Hills & Keysborough volunteer) and Kerry Towler (Arcare Slacks Creek volunteer) bring their unique interests, hilarious senses of humour and genuine hearts to volunteering with Arcare. In her professional career, Daniele has organised many large-scale events and projects, whilst Kerry for many years, has worked in lifestyle in the aged care sector. Together, we are thrilled to bring meaningful digital content that supports the Lifestyle teams from Portarlington to Townsville!
Since late March, as a team of three, we’ve been working to create a worksheet for each day, including public holidays and weekends. Each double-sided worksheet is researched to feature ‘On this Day in History’ trivia, jokes, riddles and the international day of significance, for that day. Other than the recent days of significance including Easter, Passover and Ramadan, days such as ‘World Tartan Day’, ‘World Scrabble Day’ and ‘National Tea Day’ have been included.
The feedback from clients and lifestyle teams has been extremely positive. Many lifestyle coordinators have been in touch to say clients at their residence enjoy their daily laughs the worksheets provide. Until we can be there in person again, this is our way of staying connected, supporting Lifestyle and bringing daily entertainment to Arcare clients.
Rachel Natoli, Arcare Surrey Hills’ lifestyle cooridnator:
“Our clients here at Surrey Hill are loving their daily sheets you are providing. I so miss having our volunteers in but their work at home is much appreciated. Here is a group of ladies having High Tea enjoying your worksheets today. It just so happens to be National Tea Day!”
Tina Spencer, Arcare Malvern East’s lifestyle coordinator:
“I am using the jokes in the trivia and jokes sessions I run…the residents love the facts about the month we are in. Keep em coming! Thank you for all that you do. We are all so appreciative.”
Our wonderful volunteers
Story from Arcare volunteer coordinator, Marg Furlong