Bree’s volunteering helps alleviate loneliness for older generation

A student placement prospect has turned into an important volunteering commitment and a valued friendship for university student, Bree. 

After moving to Geelong for her psychology degree, Bree wanted to complement her studies and make a difference in her community. She found the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS), a government program that connects volunteers with socially isolated older people in the community and aged care facilities.

“The position really interested me because I remembered doing something similar in primary school where our class would visit our local retirement village and play games with the residents,” Bree said.

“I hadn’t done anything like it since, so this was a good opportunity to get back into it as an adult.”  

Bree found the application process straightforward and the genU team warm and welcoming. Soon, she was matched with Sandra. When Bree mentioned her interests in baking, drawing, and music, they quickly discovered a shared passion for gardening.

“We talk for ages about gardening – I am currently attempting to keep my vegetable garden alive – television, Geelong’s history and travel,” Bree said.

“I always enjoy talking with Sandra about travel and the different countries she’s been to. I’ve never been anywhere, and she’s been everywhere. She has so many great stories of her travels and photos to accompany them.” 

When matching volunteers like Bree with community members, genU’s Senior Volunteer Program Coordinator, Angela Fortune, always considers mutual interests. Angela notes that Bree’s dedication to meaningful volunteering to reduce loneliness in her community has been a win-win.

“The positive difference a regular friendly face has made to Sandra and the meaningful impact on Bree both personally and professionally is clearly evident,” Angela said. 

“My visits with Sandra have been wonderful,” Bree shares.

“I’ve seen Sandra really open up since my first visit and become so much more vibrant and talkative. She’s even been joining clubs and attending more social events recently, which is a wonderful development to see. 

“My favourite part is watching how Sandra introduces me to others. Early on, when people came to her home during my visits, whether it was a friend or worker, she’d say something like ‘This is Bree, she’s with genU.’ But now, she introduces me as ‘this is my friend, Bree.’” 

Volunteer with genU  

If you have a passion to make a difference, we welcome you to join our incredible volunteer community and make a positive impact by giving back.  

Volunteer support can be delivered in person, over the phone or online at one of the following locations across Victoria:  

  • Barwon  
  • Mornington Peninsula  
  • Northern Metro  
  • Southwest  
  • Western Metro  

The Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS) connects volunteers with older people, providing friendship and companionship.