University students Andrew Leo and Veronica Tang have signed on as volunteers at ACH Group ViTA after finishing their study placement at the Daw Park residential living, teaching and research facility.
Opened in June 2014, ViTA is a progressive partnership between ACH Group, SA Health and Flinders University. It offers residential care with access to onsite rehabilitation and restoration services and combines best practice approaches to health and aged care with a focus on teaching and research.
As part of their Master of Social Work at Flinders University, Andrew and Veronica opted to carry out their 500 hours’ placement at ViTA from March to July this year. They both enjoyed their time so much that they have chosen to return as regular volunteers.
Andrew helped build a mosaic wall at the centre and runs carpet bowls sessions twice a week; Veronica runs a hand and nail care class and a flower arranging program.
Veronica moved to South Australia from China to study in March last year and says her experience at ViTA helped build her confidence and settle in.
“When I came here I had no friends or family and I because people live in a different way I felt lost,” she says. “But I feel like I have found a home here. I feel I am valued and useful and it is nice to be able to do something to make others happy.”
Andrew says during his study placement he started running the bowls sessions and became close to many of the residents and staff.
“I enjoy it, and the residents I work with are really nice and appreciative of what goes on here,” he says. “This is a fantastic place and it is good to be a part of it.”
ACH Group relies on volunteers across all areas of the organisation, which spans South Australia and Victoria.
“Our volunteers really make a difference to the wellbeing of our staff and residents,” says ViTA Lifestyle Coordinator Kate Bedwell.
ACH Group has more than 400 volunteers who work across a broad range of roles, including support for specialist programs in dementia, respite and disability, help with programs including choirs, health and activities, social support, transport, home support, friendly visits, administration support, teaching, fundraising and events.
To find out how you can get involved please visit ach.org.au/support-us/volunteers
Click here to find out more about ACH Group's aged care services.