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.
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.
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.
Judith on right with Alison, AVS Co-ordinator
Ann Ryder – AVS Visitor
Ann, who is now semi-retired, approached Volunteer Kapiti and selected an eclectic group of agencies in which she was interested in volunteering. Age Concern Kapiti’s Accredited Visiting Service (AVS) particularly appealed as she recognised its importance and how such a service would have helped her mother to have more social connections, in her later years.
Ann met with Alison, the AVS Co-ordinator, and completed the training to become an Age Concern Kapiti Accredited Visitor. Ann was impressed with how carefully Alison matched her with the client she was to visit, taking into account shared interests such as art, world politics, health and well-being.
Understanding and respect are the basis on which Ann has built the relationship with her client as well as being clear about parameters. Visits are weekly usually for about an hour or so, but are flexible depending on the client’s health or other commitments, in which the client holds the key. Coffee, chats or a walk are normal activities and Ann is always guided by the client’s wishes. In between visits they sometime exchange texts.
Ann gets a buzz from the connection she has with her client and gains much from the relationship, which she hopes is mutual. She believes that building trust is the key to its success and sharing memories and life stories helps to develop a bond. It is a delightful experience and I feel privileged to be an AVS visitor Ann said.
June Te Maro- 10 years a visitor for Age Concern Kapiti
June came into our office on 14th April 2009. She had seen our advertisment 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 10 years (with a couple of short breaks along the way). In that time, June has become a great and trusted friend to 3 of our clients.
“I grew up being amongst the elderly”, syas 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 10 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 our client- her friend Carol.