Volunteer Special: Starting a conversation

By PSS | Posted: Tuesday December 4, 2018

Enliven volunteer Vicky Young is bringing joy to residents at Walmsley House, but says she gets just as much satisfaction from the experience as they do.

What was supposed to be half an hour a week reading the newspaper to Walmsley House residents has turned into something a lot more special for both Enliven volunteer Vicky Young, and for the residents.

For more than a year Vicky has visited Walmsley House rest home, once a week; with a copy of The Southland Times.

While news topics are of interest to residents, it is the conversation that stems from them that gives Vicky the most joy.

“The paper is just the discussion point really. My goal is to encourage them to join the conversation, and to share their views with each other,” she said. “We do quizzes and we just yarn away about whatever is going on.”

Vicky had volunteered in a similar capacity some years ago, and on speaking with Walmsley House Manager Hayley Gould a year ago, decided it was something she wanted to return to.

“I’d always loved spending time with my 92-year-old great grandmother, hearing her stories and just being with her, it was always something special for me.”

“I just wish more people would do it (volunteer). A lot of residents have family that pop in to visit them, but they really appreciate someone else coming in, and I think they just enjoy the conversation."
“The staff at Walmsley House are just so wonderful to the residents and it’s nice that I am able to support them as well.”

Hayley said residents absolutely loved Vicky.

“They really look forward to her coming in and she always gets a good crowd in,”
she said.

“It’s so nice that she takes time out of her life to spend time with our residents. That time and Vicky’s input is just so valuable to our residents.”