My late mother, God rest her soul, often said to me “We don’t do enough to help people”. It is also thanks to my mother that I was first made aware of the Greek Welfare Centre and the fantastic services they provide, especially assisting elderly members of our community stay in their own homes longer and enjoy social support through the CVS programme. My participation in the Community Visitors Scheme is the best tribute to my mother’s memory, and a way of honouring the values she instilled in me, as well as making a difference to a remarkable 95-year-old woman, Mrs P., with whom I have been matched.
My weekly visits to “Mrs P”. have enriched not only my life, but I’ve noticed her looking forward to my visits too. As I am now such a regular part of her life, that she leaves her front door open for me in anticipation of my arrival. Sometimes Mrs P. is feeling a little down or lethargic when I arrive for our weekly chats, but I notice she becomes more animated after engaging in conversation on topics ranging from reality television to religious feast days. We have shared a number of significant milestones since I began visiting Mrs P. in April 2015, such as the birth of her third great-grandchild and my successful completion of a Diploma of Library and Information Services. “Mrs P.” Welcomes me into her home with warmth and good humour, and I know I help ease her loneliness during the week.
I consider myself fortunate to have met Mrs P., as she has helped fill the void left by my late mother of a wise and strong female presence. I can’t think of a better or more worthwhile way to spend an hour or so of my time each week than visiting with this lovely lady and making her smile. Through my experience of being a volunteer with the Greek Welfare Centre as part of the CVS programme, I can see the difference that this programme can make in the lives of our elderly.