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“A good belly laugh”: Maria brings joy to aged care residents

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When Maria walks away from visiting an elderly friend, she often feels like skipping down the street.

“I get so much out of it. I love that connection,” she says. “It really does make you appreciate the small things in life.”

A volunteer for Wesley Community Visitors Scheme for 10 years, Maria regularly visits older people living in residential aged care centres to support their wellbeing.

“There’s so many lonely people in residential care. Really saddening. You see it every day when I go there. Different people who don’t get any visitors.”

But for Maria, she feels privileged to bring a little bit of joy into people’s lives.

“The ladies I visit just open up like butterflies,” Maria says. “They do tell you about beautiful things about themselves, where they’ve been and how they feel.”

Every time Maria visits one lady, they often enjoy “a good belly laugh” together.

“We laugh and we joke,” Maria says. “I can go and talk to her for two and half hours. What we talk about is coming from her soul.”

Knowing from first-hand experience the benefits of volunteering, Maria would like to encourage others to get involved and make a difference.

“Everyone should just try it once. You know it’s quite rewarding,” she says.

While our Wesley Community Visitor Scheme volunteers are unable to visit their people during the coronavirus (COVID-19) season, they’re still connecting via phone, social media and letter writing.

Volunteers like Maria are critical to the work of Wesley Mission’s community services, helping to provide more services to more people most in need. Find out how you can get involved today.

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