Fifty lonely seniors will receive the gift of friendship through a generous grant from the James Frizelle Charitable Foundation which will enable us to offer our In Great Company volunteer visitor program to even more vulnerable residents of the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales.
In Great Company Volunteer Coordinator Alex Forster, whose work is made possible by this grant, says the funding has been pivotal in enabling us to extend our program in a region where approximately 25,000 seniors experience severe loneliness.
Benefits to both the senior and the volunteer
Alex says social connection is inextricably linked to a person’s wellbeing and the In Great Company Program offers benefits for both seniors and volunteers.
“Social connections and a sense of community has vast impacts on people’s lives and can be the difference between happiness and loneliness,” says Ms Forster.
“The James Frizelle Grant enables us to reach more seniors who are lonely; while simultaneously giving volunteers a chance to create something meaningful with their gifted time.
“The grant allows us to change the lives of 50 seniors by making them feel like they matter again, reengaging them with their community and rekindling old interests.
“The James Frizelle Charitable Foundation Grant will fund the 50 additional program places through 2021 but at In Great Company we hope to establish friendships that will last long after the grant expires.”
Ms Forster, who was recruited to In Great Company in January 2021 brings six years’ experience in the non-profit sector where she worked in both community and management roles, says she is looking forward to leading such an enthusiastic group of volunteers.
“I’m thrilled to be working with an organisation that is constantly looking to enrich the lives of seniors while giving volunteers flexibility and a chance to make a real difference to someone’s life,” she says.
Improving mental and physical health through social connection
“For our volunteers, it is rewarding work and I am buoyed by their passion and drive to make a difference in the lives of those they are matched with.”
Tackling loneliness head on
Feros Care founded In Great Company and charitable organisation Be Someone For Someone in our quest to tackle loneliness in Australia.
As a provider of aged care and a community partner in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Feros Care supports 55,000 people across Australia and we’ve seen first-hand the impact of loneliness and its devastating effects.
Through In Great Company and Be Someone For Someone, we have been able to extend our reach beyond Feros Care aged care villages and home care package clients.
Head of Be Someone For Someone Jo Winwood says the initiatives are working together to tackle loneliness from as many angles as possible.
“We are leading a coordinated effort to fight the pandemic of loneliness that is crippling our country,” says Ms Winwood.
“With the support from the James Frizelle Charitable Foundation, an additional 50 seniors will be given the gift of friendship this year and hopefully well into the future.
“While we are on the front line working directly with those suffering from loneliness, we rely on donations from business, individuals and other charities to fund our important work, as well as volunteers to help deliver our services.
“If you can help in any way, please reach out so we can tackle loneliness together.”