2 October 2020
There’s no better way to catch-up with someone, than over a hot cup of coffee ☕
As Arcare’s dedicated volunteers haven’t been unable to visit during lockdown, Arcare decided to host a one-off virtual coffee catch up on Thursday 1st October, to enable residents and registered volunteers to stay social connected and celebrate World Coffee Day.
Residents and volunteers from the Arcare Brighton, Craigieburn, Hillside, North Lakes, Parkwood and Sydenham residences participated in the virtual coffee catch-ups, with many more residences set to trial the new program in the coming weeks.
Although for many residents, the virtual coffee dates were an opportunity to catch-up with old friends and familiar faces, for some residents, these catch-ups were the first-time they would meet their volunteer. During lockdown, Arcare has seen an influx of new volunteers join their Volunteering from Home program, which focuses on providing remote support through activities such as pen-pal programs, phone calls and the Daily Bulletins.
Fiona recently moved to Arcare Brighton, and agreed to have a volunteer call her “to share experiences”, whilst living in lockdown. Fiona was matched with Arcare Head Office receptionist, Trish Percy, and after connecting over the phone, the pair hit it off.
When asked why she decided to volunteer for this program, Trish said, “I have always wanted to make a connection with one of our residents and am pleased to have been given this amazing opportunity. I look forward to my chats with Fiona and am enjoying getting to know her.” Fiona shares optimism for her new friendship with Trish, saying “It is promising and can be the start of a new friendship.”
Arcare Brighton resident, Fiona caught up with Arcare Head Office receptionist and volunteer, Trish. Trish only recently signed up to be a volunteer at Arcare Brighton, after being inspired to connect to the community during lockdown.
The catch-up was the first time that the pair had seen each other and spoken over video chat, typically only communicating over the phone.
Arcare Craigieburn was busy frothing milk, grinding coffee beans and firing up the tablets and computers in celebration of International Coffee Day, as a group of its aged care residents sat down to have a much-needed yarn (virtually) with some of its registered volunteers.
Residents Ted, Norma, Betty and June were partnered up with beloved volunteers, Sue, Donna, Tina and Michelle and her two sons.
Arcare Craigieburn Lifestyle Coordinator, Amanda says “All the residents enjoyed having a virtual coffee and jelly slice catch-up with the volunteers. It’s been a really special day for them and they loved talking and catching up.”
Recently the Arcare Hillside community started a new pen pal program with volunteer, Zak.
Zak has been kind enough to volunteer her time by writing letters to the residents at Arcare Hillside for the foreseeable future.
When the first batch of letters arrived at the residence, resident, Joan couldn’t wipe the smile off her face. Not only did Zak take time to write Joan a heart-warming letter, but she also included a few treats with her letter, a Freddo frog and some tea bags.
“It’s so lovely!” Joan remarked.
The Arcare Hillside community are excited to develop a new friendship with Zak over the coming months, and the residents are already looking forward to reading the next batch of letters. Prior to COVID, Zak would also regularly volunteer at Arcare Sydenham.
As a part of Arcare’s Virtual Coffee Catch-Ups on World Coffee Day, 82 year old, Joan was able to officially meet and talk to volunteer, Zak. The spent over an hour chatting and getting to know each other better; it was also the perfect opportunity for Joan to personally thank Zak for her pen-pal letters.
Even though the Daily Bulletins have been circulating in 41 Arcare residences for close to 200 days and reaching approximately 4,000 residents, many of the dedicated volunteers to from the Daily Bulletins team have not yet had the opportunity to meet residents.
For many volunteers, Arcare’s Virtual Coffee Catch-Ups on World Coffee Day, was the first time that they were able to meet and interact with their readers, the residents.
Volunteers, Aquini, Emma, Lavanya, Susan and Kerri-Anne joined Marg in a virtual catch-up with the residents from Arcare Malvern East, North Lakes and Parkwood.
“We were overwhelmed by their kind words of encouragement. It was beautiful that they shared, in their own words, their joy at reading the Daily Bulletins, letting us know they find the varied topics interesting, that they laugh at the jokes and look forward to the edition each day.” Volunteer coordinator, Marg said. “The catch-up really helped put everything into perspective.”
Federal Member for Higgins, Dr Katie Allen participated in yesterday’s Virtual Coffee Catch-Up alongside the Daily Bulletin volunteer team and the residents.
Dr Katie Allen has been instrumental in assisting Arcare and partner, JoCare to recruit new volunteers during lockdown, and the virtual catch-up was a great opportunity for her to see the positive impact that her initiative has had on the Arcare community. Arcare would like to thank Dr Katie Allen for her participation and ongoing support.
The group spent just over an hour chatting, getting to know one another, asking questions and playing a variety of trivia games from the Daily Bulletins.
“Personally, the most moving moment during the call was when the Parkwood clients initiated a ‘three cheers for our volunteers’. That moment was very special, and of course, the volunteer team felt to respond with ‘three cheers for our readers’.” Marg explained.
After the call, the volunteer team had a few minutes to chat and debrief. The entire team agreed, that they felt a sense of accomplishment, after meeting and interacting with the residents.
If you’re interested in making a difference and volunteering at Arcare, you can find more information: https://bit.ly/33hXJIo