One to One Connection

For many years now a group of quiet and dedicated women have ensured social connection for Jewish seniors who are isolated and/or housebound for whatever reason. We have heard of the weekly phone calls service manned by Hanni Chalmers OAM and Ellen Glass for over 20 years But there is another group of callers, three of whom – Agnes Matrai, Diana Burman, and Anna Waldman, – have been providing this particular home call service for over 3 years. The service provides a vital link between members and COA services, as any new needs a member may have is reported by the volunteer to COA’s social workers, who follow it further.

They call daily for a short and friendly chat to see if their callmate is up and about, planning anything for the day, has enough of whatever they may need, and is feeling well. On occasion this 5 minute catch up call will stretch into half hour- (but that’s alright, because we work on “Jewish time”!)

But the most satisfying part for call makers and recipients is the friendship which blossoms from regular contact. All parties are made the richer from the connection, flying in the face of the media who will tell you humans are unable to forge new friendships after a certain age.

The fact that the volunteers are in charge of this service means they negotiate with each other, cover each others’ shifts, and also have an opportunity to form close bonds while sharing the trials and joys of their special role.

If you want to join the group, as a volunteer call maker or a recipient of calls, please contact our social workers on 9389 0035.

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