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Fostering friendship: the heartwarming bond between Rosemary and Marina

Two women take a selfie to mark their new friendship as part of the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme
New friends Marina and Rosemary

Introducing Marina and Rosemary

Marina Altson, driven by compassion and a passion for volunteering, recently met Rosemary Renouf through the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS) at Balwyn Evergreen.

Their bond began to form in March 2024, and Marina quickly recognised Rosemary's charm and warmth.

Their regular Sunday outings to the village for coffee have become a cherished routine for Marina, who found Rosemary to be a lovely friend.

Rosemary is a regular on Balwyn Evergreen’s bus outings, enjoying the variety and friendship of the weekly trips around the countryside.

Warm and inviting by nature, Rosemary was more than happy to give the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme a go, because there’s always room for a new friend.

Nurturing connections

Marina and Rosemary engage in heartfelt conversations about their lives, interests, and experiences. 

"Marina is a very nice lady. Our Sunday coffee outings mean the world to me. She's a delight to be around," Rosemary says. 

Marina adds: "Rosemary is creative, kind, and warm."

Impact on wellbeing

For Rosemary, Marina's visits provide much-needed social connection and companionship, positively impacting her overall wellbeing. 

"I understand the importance of human contact for older people, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be there for Rosemary, offering companionship and support whenever she needs it," Marina says.

Support from Evergreen

"Balwyn Evergreen Centre has been instrumental in shaping my volunteering journey," Marina says. 

"Under (Volunteer Coordinator) Kerri's guidance, I feel supported and empowered. She ensures that volunteers, like myself, are matched with compatible companions and offers assistance whenever required.

“This support system has greatly boosted my confidence and effectiveness in fulfilling my role."

Personal fulfilment

"Volunteering with Rosemary means more to me than words can express," Marina says. 

"After losing my grandmother, being with Rosemary helps me recreate those cherished moments and find solace in our interactions. Through this program, I've discovered a newfound sense of purpose and connection, enriching both our lives in ways I never imagined." 

Rosemary and Marina’s relationship showcases the profound impact of companionship and empathy in aged care. Through the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme, Marina not only supports Rosemary but also finds personal fulfilment and healing, highlighting the transformative power of their shared moments.

About the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS)

Funded by the Australian Government, the scheme matches volunteer visitors with eligible recipients to create friendships and alleviate loneliness.

At the heart of the scheme is genuine connection for both parties, with long-term bonds forged.  


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