The Community Visitors Scheme (CVS) volunteers recently celebrated 30 years of service in the Limestone Coast.
A special luncheon was held at Parker Estate Coonawarra winery where 30 volunteers, current and past coordinators and committee members came together from Mount Gambier, Millicent, Kingston, Naracoorte and Bordertown to acknowledge the success of the Federal Government funded scheme.
The nationwide scheme initially started in Mount Gambier as a rural pilot program in 1990, organising volunteer visits to older people to provide friendship and companionship.
Auspiced by the Uniting Church and then following its success spread to Millicent, Penola, Naracoorte, Bordertown and Kingston aged care facilities.
The celebration was made extra special for Dawn Day from Mount Gambier having her 30 years of CVS involvement recognised.
Ms Day was on the committee that originally applied to be part of the new program, has previously taken on the volunteer coordinator’s role and is still currently involved on the committee.
During the luncheon Ms Day reminisced about 1990 when three ladies put in an application not really knowing a lot about the new program and had to travel to Adelaide to be interviewed by the State Selection Committee and then again to find out if their application had been successful.
Mount Gambier and District CVS coordinator Lisa Sanders said the committee would also like to acknowledge Frans Smaling from Mount Gambier, who has been a visiting volunteer since the program began, but was not able to attend the presentation luncheon.
“Other length of service milestones were acknowledged on the day, including four Naracoorte volunteers and one Mount Gambier volunteer that have been visiting residents for over 20 years,” she said.
Last November the Mount Gambier and District Community Visitors Scheme was nominated in the South Australian Community Achievements Awards and was acknowledged at the Gala evening in Adelaide as a semi finalist in the Community Welfare Innovation section.