CVS Celebrates 30 Years Nationally!

For 30 years, the Community Visitors Scheme has been enriching the quality of life for older Australians through friendship and companionship. Last Thursday night we celebrated the wonderful achievements of Lifeline H2H’s own CVS program, which began in 2019, and recognised the dedicated volunteers who have played such an important role in alleviating isolation and loneliness among the elderly in our community, especially during the pandemic.

The special event was held in the Gordon office and was MC’d by CVS Coordinator Sharon Richards, who introduced guest speakers Lifeline H2H CEO Elizabeth Lovell; the Federal member for Bradfield, Paul Fletcher; and the CEO of the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), Craig Gear OAM to address the gathering.

All mentioned the importance of the service during a period of multiple lockdowns and social restrictions, with Elizabeth highlighting why human connection is a universal need:

“Meaningful and positive interactions contribute directly to mental health by reducing  stress, improving happiness and strengthening self-worth and wellbeing in people. Conversely, loneliness and social isolation increase health risks in older people. Various life events, such as retirement, bereavement and ill health, can reduce social networks and make it harder to stay active socially.

“In our geographic area, 17% of our population are over 65 years of age. National suicide data for the four years including 2020 shows that of the men and women over 65 years of age who tragically take their life through suicide, over 25% had limitations to being active due to disability, with another 6% having experienced social exclusion.

“In addition, 35% of people aged 65 years or more who tragically lost their life to suicide had no identified risk factor, and so the CVS program of social connection forms a critical link in the prevention and creation of critical human touch for many, including both emotional and practical support.”

The guest speakers all acknowledged the tremendous effort of the volunteer visitors who give so much of their time, energy and compassion to this beautiful program. Elizabeth ended her speech by saying, “How blessed we are to have such a commitment to service and volunteering in our H2H community, and thank you to you all tonight.”

Click here to watch a short video featuring some of the amazing volunteer visitors and recipients who are currently part of Lifeline H2H’s CVS program.