A Neighbourhood Companion provides companionship, connection, and belonging to older people living in care facilities, and to those in their own homes being supported by aged care providers.
Becoming a companion gives you the chance to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others by connection through the power of presence.
Neighbourhood Companions share their time with another, without trying to 'fix' their lives or 'solve' the challenges they face. They are good listeners, and respond with sensitivity, empathy and compassion, with people who may be experiencing disconnection, loss and loneliness.
Why be a Neighbourhood Companion?
There are many vulnerable and isolated older people living across our community, who are yearning for greater connection and a sense of belonging. They may feel lonely and forgotten, which can have a detrimental impact on their wellbeing, health and daily life.
Pope Francis has invited us all into the ‘art of accompaniment’ which encourages us to remove
our sandals before the sacred ground of the other (Evangelii Gaudium, 169). Jesus’ way of being with others is our model and our guide in how to accompany and authentically ‘love our neighbour’ and to be a companion on the journey.
You are invited to become a missionary disciple through the Neighbourhood Companion program. This formation opportunity will see you initially develop skills in providing pastoral care which may lead into spiritual and sacramental care for others.
How can I become a Neighbourhood Companion?
We will train and support you to become a Neighbourhood Companion within your community. Key aspects of the process include:
- Attending an information session (held throughout the year) and then filling in an Expression of Interest form.
- Completing the Neighbourhood Companion foundational one-day training.
- Attending support meetings and development sessions as able.
- Working with the Neighbourhood Companion supervisor to discern placement allocation and ongoing formation opportunities.
- A Neighbourhood Companion will need to be, or become, a volunteer of their local parish community and complete the appropriate volunteer documentation.
For more information or to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org. An information session is coming soon.