Practical support is offered on a voluntary basis for short term emergency care by parishes operating care programs. The support offered is unique to each individual parish and is determined by the volunteers available. Support is offered free of charge by coordinators and volunteers who are unpaid. The parish also does not receive funding for this voluntary work.
As all practical support is undertaken by volunteers sufficient notice should be given to allow time for the coordinators of the program to locate a volunteer who is available to carry out the task at the required time. If sufficient notice is not given a volunteer may not be available to undertake the task. (This is especially important for transport to doctors and specialists appointments).
When a volunteer is not available the coordinator may be able to direct you to another agency or organisation which may be able to help you.
Care programs in some parishes offer Bereavement Support Groups which support the bereaved by providing a regular opportunity to share their stories in a safe and comforting environment. Bereavement Support Groups also aim to support and assist the bereaved in
- the understanding of the grief process
- the adjustment to the loss
- taking on a new direction in life
In most care programs coordinators can organise a volunteer to provide an emergency meal, such as a casserole, for a family in need. For example, meals may be provided for a short period when someone is recovering from an operation or other crisis.
Parents often appreciate support, especially during stressful times (e.g. sickness), when a care program may be able to offer (subject to available volunteers with Working with Children Cards)
- Read to a child
- Take a child on an outing
- Care of a child with a disability
The occasional handyman, gardening or lawn mowing job can often be organised for a frail aged person or someone facing a crisis.
Emergency home help (such as cleaning, general housework, ironing and washing) will often assist someone in short term need.
Requests for transport are some of the most frequent calls received and it is very important to give as much notice as possible to allow the coordinator time to locate a volunteer who is available to carry out the task at the required time (especially for appointments during office hours). If sufficient notice is not given a volunteer may not be available to undertake the task. Volunteers are available to undertake driving jobs such as going to/from
- Doctors and Specialists
Visiting is more and more important in society today where social isolation and loneliness is very prevalent. Volunteers are available to
- Visit the sick, lonely or a person with a disability (in your home or at a cafe)
- Sit with a house bound person to allow the “Primary Carer” time off
- Read to the aged
Care programs may also undertake other tasks and coordinators should be contacted to determine whether they have volunteers who may be able to assist with special tasks such as
- Interpreter services
- Writing letters