Community visitor Delma Gillespie of Goonellabah and Val Bruggy of Cedars Age Care in Casino enjoy breakfast at the Red Dove centre in Lismore.
Community visitor Delma Gillespie of Goonellabah and Val Bruggy of Cedars Age Care in Casino enjoy breakfast at the Red Dove centre in Lismore.

Timely thanks given to visitors

CHRISTMAS is a time for giving thanks and yesterday it was the turn of the volunteers of the Community Visitors Scheme to receive Lismore’s appreciation.

For the past 16 years, volunteers with the Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) have provided companionship to socially isolated people living in government-subsided aged-care homes.

For 14 of those years Delma Gillespie, of Goonellabah, has travelled to Casino at least once a fortnight to visit 83-year-old Val Bruggy in her nursing home.

“We just talk and have a bit of a laugh. Val has become part of the family,” Mrs Gillespie said after she was presented with a certificate of appreciation from CVS.

Yesterday about 60 people, including many of the elderly clients, Page MP Janelle Saffin and Lismore mayor Jenny Dowell, gathered for a Christmas breakfast to pay tribute to the volunteers.

The scheme was established in Lismore 16 years ago by Nora Vidler-Blanksby, who yesterday said it played a critical role in keeping the minds of senior Australians active and socially engaged.

“It’s only going to become more important with the ageing population and advances in medicine,” she said.

Ms Saffin said the scheme was about caring for society’s seniors.

“Some people don’t have families. The Community Visitors Scheme gives them care and shows them that the community cares,” she said.

Mrs Gillespie agrees: “It makes them happy and enjoy life a bit more.

“If I was in Val’s position I would like someone to come and see me.”



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