Community Visitors Scheme

Our Community Visitors Scheme seeks volunteers who can commit to building a friendship with an older person living in an aged care home or in their own home, who may be lonely and isolated.

Volunteers can participate in the scheme in three different ways:

  • Visit a person in an Aged Care facility
  • Visit a person in their own home
  • Visit two or more people in a group setting at an Aged Care facility.

The service aims to diminish the sense of loneliness and isolation experienced by those referred to the program.

How can I volunteer?

You can become a volunteer if:

  • you are over 18 years of age
  • you are willing to visit either weekly or fortnightly on an ongoing, one-to-one basis.

Why should I volunteer?

The Community Visitors Scheme enriches the quality of an older person’s life through a regular friendly visitor who meets their need for company. Such visits can benefit the resident significantly. We are looking for reliable people with effective communication skills from all backgrounds to volunteer their time and visit a person who needs companionship.

Want to become a Community Visitor Scheme volunteer?

What is required of me when I become a volunteer?

  • Preferably be aged 18 years of age or over.
  • Undergo a Police Check (and sign a Statuary Declaration if required).
  • Attend an interview at our Fitzroy North Office for approximately 1.5 hours. This will be conducted Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am and 3pm. A time will be arrange with one of our Coordinators.
  • Maintain contact with the Coordinator.
  • Be flexible, friendly, and adaptable to change.

Do I need to reside in a particular area to become a Community Visitor Scheme volunteer with Melbourne City Mission?

Melbourne City Mission service a number of suburbs in the north, west and inner city areas. If you are not local or are in close proximity to any of the suburbs listed in our geographical areas (listed below), we will not have access to an aged care home for you to visit.

 Community Visitor Scheme geographical areas
Abbotsford  Alphington  Ascot Vale  Avondale Heights  Broadmeadows  Brunswick 
Clifton Hill Coburg Coburg North Collingwood Coolaroo East Melbourne
Essendon Essendon North Fawkner Fitzroy Fitzroy North Flemington
Gladstone Park Glenroy Greenvale Keilor Downs Keilor East Kensington 
Maidstone Meadow Heights Melbourne Moonee Ponds North Melbourne Northcote
Parkville Pascoe Vale Richmond Roxburgh Park Sunshine North Sydenham
Thornbury Westmeadows        

Is your suburb is not listed? Please contact us on 0499 018 768 /0497 003 800 or 03 9486 8436 to find an organisation in your area.

What skills/qualities do Volunteers need?

  • Have an understanding, appreciation and respect for the elderly
  • Be reliable and resilient
  • Have fantastic listening skills
  • Be confident in visiting independently
  • Demonstrate good judgement
  • Preferably be over 18 years of age
  • Be willing to undergo a Police Check as part of the screening process 

How much time do I need to commit?

Once matched we expect volunteers to visit for at least 12 months. Minimum visits are fortnightly but a weekly visit is encouraged, especially at the beginning to establish the friendship.

Can I go away on holidays?

Yes. If you are away for more than four weeks you will need to advise the co-ordinator so they can advise the facility or service provider. If it is less than four weeks some alternatives are to send a card, make a telephone call or write a letter to the resident.

What do CVS volunteers agree to?

  • Visit a designated resident on a regular basis (at least once a fortnight) for the purposes of friendship and companionship.
  • Provide a record of the dates of visits to their CVS Co-ordinator.
  • Respect the rights of residents including confidentiality, privacy and dignity.
  • Exercise a duty of care at all times. Community Visitors duty of care is using commonsense and exercising reasonable caution in any activities undertaken with the resident.
  • Inform the co-ordinator if they are experiencing any difficulties with visiting.
  • Notify the co-ordinator of any accident or incident that occurs whilst they are visiting.
  • Notify the co-ordinator if they intend to cease involvement on a temporary or permanent basis.
  • Inform the co-ordinator if they wish to stop visiting a particular resident.

Are there tasks CVS volunteers cannot do?

  • Monitor standards provided at an aged care home.
  • Be involved in investigating or following up complaints.
  • Displace relationships between the resident and their family, staff or other relationships.
  • Have access to residents' care or personal records or become involved in the financial affairs of the resident.
  • Sign or witness any documents for or on behalf of the resident.
  • Administer any medication to the resident.
  • Provide nursing or personal care to the resident.
  • Interfere with or have any involvement in the day-to-day running of the aged care home.
  • Replace nursing, activities or therapy staff in aged care homes.
  • Visit other residents without the approval of the Community Visitors Scheme Co-ordinator.

I work full-time, can I still volunteer?

Yes. The benefits of the CVS are that visiting your resident can fit in with your schedule as well as the resident. Weekend visits can be easily arranged.

Note: The majority of residents have a routine of retiring after dinner mainly due to medications and aged care living. Therefore evening visits are not recommended.

I am a CVS volunteer. How do I provide you with feedback about my visits?

All CVS volunteers are required to fill in a quarterly report form so we can obtain your feedback about your visits and know how often you have visited. Please fill in our CVS Quarterly Reporting Form to submit your feedback at the end of every three months.

Hear from one of our Volunteers – Michael

Motivated by the need to give something back, Michael decided to volunteer his time. 

'I’ve lived a very fortunate life and wanted to share some of that.' Michael said, 'I was also keen to meet people from different backgrounds and age groups.'

Michael was matched with Eunice, a resident at an aged care facility.

Eunice really enjoys her time with Michael; “When he comes to visit we laugh and laugh, he is a real gentleman. We sometimes have a glass of port, or we go for a walk to the shop and get some lollies. When Michael brings his car we go for a drive to different places.”

'My favourite part of volunteering is listening to the stories Eunice tells me from her past and seeing Eunice’s smile when I walk into her room.' Michael said, 'I really enjoy my time with Eunice and recommend others jump on board.'

Eunice also highly recommends the Community Visitors Scheme: 'Everybody should have a friend, but they can’t have Michael because he visits me' she laughs.

Volunteers are asked to visit a minimum of once a fortnight, with weekly visits encouraged in the early stages of building the relationship. Volunteers have flexibility over their days and times, so for those who work full time, weekends are an option. The CVS has a waiting list of over 300 residents, who are looking for friendship and companionship.

If you’d like to get involved, contact a member of our Community Visitor Scheme on 0499 018 768 /0497 003 800 or 03 9486 8436. Alternatively, please fill in the enquiry form on the 'How to apply' section.

  • You will need to contact our CVS Co-ordinator on 0499 018 768 /0497 003 800 or 03 9486 8436.
  • We will send you an application form and information kit.
  • We will schedule a time for you to attend an interview for approximately 1.5 hours at our Fitzroy North office, between the hours of 9am and 3pm Monday to Friday.
  • You will need to pass a National Criminal History Record Check.
  • You will need to supply a Statutory Declaration (if the person has been a citizen or a permanent resident of a country other than Australia) stating that they have never been convicted of an offence, since turning the age of sixteen).

How will I be matched to a resident?

  • Through our contacts with Aged Care Homes and Service Providers, a person who needs a friend will be referred to us. 
  • We then carefully match the resident and the volunteer, taking into account such factors as interests, background, life experience and location.
  • We will then organise a time for an introduction to meet at a time that suits the resident – usually between 10:00am and 3:00pm Monday to Friday.

Enquire about becoming a Community Visitor Scheme volunteer

Where did you hear about us?

I am a local/in close proximity to the suburbs outlined in the FAQ section