This letter is a great illustration as to why people become Elderly Companion Volunteers at AMCS.

My name is Izabella and I am an Elderly Companion Volunteer.

I migrated to Australia from Poland in 2010 and initially lived in Queensland for the first few years. I found living in Queensland, exotic, compared to Poland. After three years, my partner and I moved to Gladstone Park, in Melbourne, where we purchased our house.

Wishing to become involved in the local community, I applied to volunteer with Australian Multicultural Community Services, and began doing so in July 2015, visiting Joan Walsh each week.

We have become great friends over this time, and if I am unable to visit, I will telephone her for a chat. When Joan was hospitalised twice last year, I continued visiting her in hospital.

For Joan’s 80th birthday, I was invited by her children to join in a celebratory family lunch.
I recognise the importance of quietly sitting with her and sharing one’s life stories and thoughts. Joan also met my partner Damian and our dog Nugget, it was a very happy occasion.

Visiting Joan has been a wonderful experience for me and I feel she has become part of my life. When I first met her, she was 78 years old and living in a Retirement Village. Due to mobility issues, she uses a walking frame, and rarely goes out. I find Joan lives every day of her life with dignity. Joan is optimistic, a great talker, inspirational and a great friend to me.

I’m still learning the importance of sharing, even the smallest things, with someone who cannot go out alone. I also recognise how important our companionship is to Joan.

I find volunteering extremely rewarding, and would recommend it to anyone with a little time to spare. There is a saying that “it is far better to give than receive”, and I truly believe this.

Regards,
Izabella Jablonska

Thank you Izabella for your wonderful letter. If anyone is interested in becoming an Elderly Companion Volunteer at AMCS, please call Jacek via ph: 8371 2318 or email: jacek.sokolowski@amcservices.org.au