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Accredited Visiting Service (AVS) Programme

Could you be a volunteer visitor?

Age Concern Kapiti’s Accredited Visiting Service (AVS) has been successfully established for many years. The aim is to increase social connections for older people living in Kapiti.

Our AVS visitors range in age, can be male or female and come from different backgrounds. A common thread is the wish to make a difference in the life of an older person.

If you can give an hour or so of your time each week, are warm and friendly, enjoy a chat and respect confidentiality, please contact us for more information about AVS.

 

                                                                  

 

 

Gift boxes donated by Compassion in Action given to Visitors

We have a very special group of 60 volunteer Visitors who brighten up the lives of our older clients here on the Kapiti Coast.  They give an hour of their time each week to visit and chat over a cuppa or take their friend on an outing or for a drive.

We were delighted that “Compassion in Action” donated 30 Christmas gift boxes to us.   These have been given to the volunteer Visitors who have been involved the longest in our Accredited Visiting Service and were received with much appreciation.

Thanks to Compassion in Action.

                                       

        Solange Pinquet AVS Visitor                                                                     Kate Tamaki AVS Visitor

 

Workshop for Age Concern Kapiti’s Accredited Visitors

 

 

In October 2020, Alison the Age Concern Kapiti Accredited Visiting Service (AVS)   Co-ordinator, organised a workshop for the AVS volunteer visitors.

The event was attended by 30 visitors and provided an opportunity for experienced and new visitors to chat and get to know one another. It was also an opportunity for them to provide feedback about their visiting experiences and the value of meeting together.  A finger food lunch concluded a very successful morning.

Future workshops are planned which will include speakers on topics of interest to the visitors.

 

Visitor Stories

Judith  Wynn – AVS Visitor

As an early childhood teacher Judith commuted to work and more recently worked overseas which meant she had few community connections in Kapiti.  On returning from Cambodia, she decided to work as a relieving teacher which gave her time to commit to voluntary work.  Judith’s interest in older people lead to her looking for volunteer options online and that is where she learned about Age Concern Kapiti’s AVS service.

Judith on right with Alison, AVS Co-ordinator

After completing one-to-one training, Judith was matched with a client who had referred herself to the service.  Alison, the AVS Co-ordinator, arranged for Judith and the client to meet and as is usual, went along for the first visit.  Although initially Judith was unsure about their compatibility it soon became clear they had  lot in common. Among their shared interests was a love of music and choirs as well as gardening.  After finding out her client used to play the guitar Judith took her Ukulele when she visited. This led to a shopping  trip and the client buying one for herself and then going online to find music.

Visits are weekly for an hour and a half and, depending on her client’s health, may involve  a trip to Otaki for coffee or to the garden centre in Plimmerton.  Their love of gardening means they often exchange plants and share the NZ Gardening magazine. Judith understands that sometimes her client is not up to having her visit and she then contacts her later in the week to check how she is and to arrange when to visit.

Judith enjoys the friendship that has developed with her client and through sharing their life experiences feels they have built an authentic relationship.  It is an amazing experience Judith commented.

 

Colin Payne – Volunteer

 If there were prizes for people who put their hand up to volunteer whatever the task, Colin would certainly have received many prizes over the years.  The list of organisations and voluntary positions he has held is impressive ranging from social service organisations, theatres and choirs to sports clubs and educational groups.

Having had a career as a Structural Engineer gave Colin a range of excellent skills which, together with his great sense of humour and ready smile, enables him to relate to people from all walks of life.

Colin remembers the following words his father often said and which he feels has influenced his attitude to life:

“If I can help somebody as I pass along,

If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,

If I can show somebody he is travelling wrong,

Then my living shall not be in vain.”

(Song – lyrics by Alma Bazel Androzzo)

Colin believes in treating people as equals while respecting we are all individuals.  Having come from England many years ago he knows the importance of making links and becoming involved in the community you live in. This attitude is reflected in the way he has carried out his many voluntary roles.

Over the years Age Concern Kapiti has been fortunate to have Colin work as a volunteer in several roles including as an AVS visitor, HAT group helper, Steady As You Go (SayGo) instructor as well as helping to organise fund raising events. Whatever the occasion we know we can rely on Colin to help. Thank you Colin.

 

June Te Maro- 13 years a visitor for Age Concern Kapiti

June came into our office on 14th April 2009. She had seen our advertisement for volunteer visitors in the local paper. We’re so lucky she did because she has now been a wonderful Age Concern Kapiti visitor for 13 years (with a couple of short breaks along the way). In that time, June has become a great and trusted friend to the older people she has visited.

“I grew up being amongst the elderly”, says June, “my kuia/ koroua (Nanny’s and Granddad’s) and I always loved being in their surrounds to listen and learn from them and do for them, giving and receiving the aroha (love)”.

When June saw our advert 13 years ago, she was prompted to find out more about becoming an Accredited Visitor because, as she explains “I had just been walking through Coastlands Mall and I saw an elderly lady looking lonely. So I sat down with her and she told me she gets lonely and needs a friend. So I became her friend and I saw her regularly until she passed away”.

Orginally from Waikato, June has 30 grandkids and 4 great-grandkids. In the questionnaire she completed for us in 2009, she included among her interests and pastimes “cooking and feeding people, meeting people, caring for pre-schoolers, teaching and learning from them”.

A wonderful lady, as I write this, she is probably making pikelets to take to an older person she visits!