Leo Baeck Centre has a Care Committee to support community members at times of difficulty and distress. Volunteers visit people at home, hospital or residential facilities for companionship, encouragement, assistance and as a link to our community. Need for support may arise from illness, frailty, social isolation or bereavement. Contact may be one-off, from time to time, or routine for a period of time. The volunteers’ role with its ‘clients’ is confined to friendly visiting. Professionals are called in where counselling or referral to specialist services are required.
We have regularly visited some members of the LBC community living in aged care accommodation due to dementia, or living at home with considerable anxiety. Regular volunteer visits have been reassuring and calming influences in their lives. Some people have become frail through an illness and their family lives interstate. LBC volunteers have set up a regular contact date. They have also organised a working bee to assist a single parent family moving from interstate into a Melbourne flat.
The Committee sends cards to sick people and bereaved family members, and volunteers occasionally assist in the serving of refreshments at minyanim. They also organise seminars at LBC from time to time to provide an opportunity for the LBC community to discuss and learn about matters of interest. Seminars on positive ageing, Altzheimer’s disease, and children’s use of social networking have been held in recent years.
The Committee comprises about twelve volunteers who meet monthly in each other’s homes to support and learn from each other. A professionally qualified Coordinator ensures volunteers are properly inducted and trained, volunteers are matched with clients, and clients are contacted when appropriate. Volunteers are required to undergo a police check at LBC’s expense.
Individuals with a need, their friends or relatives can arrange for a volunteer service by contacting the LBC office. Of course the Care Committee is always looking for volunteers. Again, please contact the office where details will be taken and the Volunteer Coordinator will call you.