SUPPORT: Delma Gillespie and Joyce Earl both of Goonellabah at the thank you breakfast yesterday.
SUPPORT: Delma Gillespie and Joyce Earl both of Goonellabah at the thank you breakfast yesterday. Marnie Johnston

Volunteers make a big difference

SOME very special people got spoilt at a thank you breakfast yesterday morning in return for a year of hard work.

It was at the Red Dove Cafe where these volunteers from the Community Visitors Scheme, a national program funded by the Australian Government which aims to enrich the life of residents in aged care homes by organising volunteers to visit them and form friendships with them, got a morning of acknowledgement.

Nora Vidler-Blanksby, who co-ordinates the program through the Lismore Neighbourhood Centre and has been doing so for 20 years, said that the end-of-year breakfast was a great way to thank her volunteers for their efforts.

"It's a nice way to bring them together on a happy occasion and say thankyou."

She said the visits provide those in the homes with "extra stimulation" and helps alleviate the loneliness experienced by people in aged care homes.

She said it helps the people who are visited to live a longer life and experience a better quality of life.

"It just makes such a difference," she said.

Joyce Earl, of Goonellabah, has been volunteering in the program for 18 years.

She said she began volunteering because she had the time to and wanted to do something positive in the community, and now, she said she's incredibly glad she started doing it.

"I like visiting people, and cheering them up a bit. They like to have visitors, and some people don't have people coming to see them."

Delma Gillespie, of Goonellabah, has been volunteering for 17 years, praising the program as she said that she got a lot out of it.



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