August 5 2015 – Smiling faces at Corumbene span the generations
Volunteering Tasmania Member organisation, Corumbene Aged Care Services, has embraced youth and student volunteering in a big way.
Their already award winning volunteer program has in recent years been given new life, with programs designed to give school students the opportunity to learn about aged care, and get to know the residents.
“We recognise the importance of offering our residents a home-like environment, and that involves integration of people of all ages,” said Corumbene CEO, Damien Jacobs.
“For far too long, aged care services in Australia have not focussed on one of the fundamentals of fostering a human habitat for our elderly: close and continuing contact with children in the community,” he said.
Corumbene’s intergenerational volunteer programs (such as ‘My Journey’) are integral in creating that habitat.
Many schools regularly participate in Corumbene’s volunteering opportunities as part of their student development programs.
“We have a community reputation for building kids’ confidence, and helping them gain a sense of satisfaction and achievement. It improves their own wellbeing to know they are helping others,” said Mr Jacobs.
In addition to the classic activities such as crafts, cooking and board games; students have the opportunity to assist in the production of the Resident Spring Ball, activities in the community, and Corumbene’s specialist ‘My Journey’ program.
“In our ‘My Journey’ program, our volunteers (including students) spend time talking with the residents, drawing out precious memories and moments from their everyday lives. They record these memories before they lost forever to the effects of natural ageing, dementia and other medical conditions,” Mr Jacobs said.
“Personal DVDs are created for the residents and their families and some stories are broadcast by the local radio station TYGA FM,” he said.
New Norfolk High School student Ellie Hayton is a Corumbene volunteer and the recipient of the Derwent Valley 2015 Australia Day ‘Young Citizen of the Year’ Award.
“I’ve been at Corumbene for over a year now and I’m still enjoying it. I was only supposed to be here for one day!” Miss Hayton said.
“Coming down twice a week and interacting with all of the residents and staff is a great opportunity. It allows me to see what a career in Aged Care is like,” she said.
Corumbene’s Leisure and Lifestyle Coordinator and the Coordinator of Volunteers, Barbara Davis said, “Student volunteering is a valuable partnership, which is vital to maintain a positive understanding between the generations.”
To volunteer at Corumbene, please contact Barbara Davis on 6261 2744.
For other volunteering opportunities, please visit the Find a Role page on our website; or call 6231 5550 to book an appointment with a Volunteer Referral Officer.