Volunteers required for vital service

Help needed: Maxine Goodwin said volunteers from Camden and Campbelltown residents were needed to help launch the program in the area. Picture: Chris Lane

Help needed: Maxine Goodwin said volunteers from Camden and Campbelltown residents were needed to help launch the program in the area. Picture: Chris Lane

A simple fortnightly gesture that aims to help socially isolated residents in Campbelltown and Camden feel part of the vibrant community.

Formed in 1996, the Sisters of Charity outreach program was established in the eastern Suburbs of Sydney with the aim of targeting people who had become disconnected from the community.

In 2009 the program the expanded its footprint into Liverpool and Fairfield.

Now, due to demand, the charity has signalled its intentions to set up in Camden and Campbelltown.

Camden resident and the program’s south west coordinator Maxine Goodwin, said the program wouldn’t be possible without the help of local volunteers.

“We keep getting inquiries from organisations in Camden and Campbelltown about expanding out here,” Mrs Goodwin said.

“We’ve been keen to support those organisations but in order to do that we need volunteers. For us to get up and running we need at least 15 volunteers.”

The outreach program sees volunteers spend an hour and half every fortnight with a client. Mrs Goodwin said that meant volunteers were only required to dedicate a minimum of two hours a week every fortnight.

Though if they committed to more than two hours a week, more people in Campbelltown and Camden could access the service.

“The more the merrier,” she said.

Mrs Goodwin said the program had a number of health benefits for all those involved.

“Social isolation can have negative health impacts, lead to premature death and affect people with dementia. So there are broader ramifications than just feeling lonely,” she said.

“(This program) supports someone, makes them feel a part of the community and shows them that someone cares. Lots of volunteers say they feel like they are making a difference in someone’s life.” Volunteers must be 18 years old and over, Australian residents, and pass NSW police and working with children checks.

Details: call 8382 6430 or email info@outreach.net.au or sistersofcharityoutreach.com.au. 

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