International Volunteer Day

Press Release – Age Concern

Today, in time for International Volunteer Day, Mrs Baxendine thanks the hundreds of dedicated people who help Age Concerns around New Zealand improve the lives of others.Media Release: Age Concern New Zealand

December 5, 2011

International Volunteer Day

How would it feel to count a tradesperson’s visit or a telemarketers call as a highlight in your social calendar?

Age Concern’s National President Liz Baxendine estimates this could be a reality for at least 45,000 older New Zealanders.

Today, in time for International Volunteer Day, Mrs Baxendine thanks the hundreds of dedicated people who help Age Concerns around New Zealand improve the lives of others.

Mrs Baxendine says Age Concern’s Accredited Visiting Service is a good example of the tangible difference volunteering makes.

“Chronic loneliness is New Zealand’s hidden health epidemic. It has severe health and psychological impacts. Overseas research shows that it is as big a health risk as smoking.

“New Zealanders are increasingly choosing independent lifestyles – but if people don’t maintain effective social networks this can lead to chronic loneliness and related increased health costs.

“Age Concern Visitors provide positive social relationships for older people who haven’t been able to maintain these networks.”

Mrs Baxendine says older people are also some of New Zealand’s most active volunteers.

“At least one third of older New Zealanders are involved in voluntary work, it’s not an exaggeration to say that older people are essential to the functioning of many of our community organisations. In Age Concern’s Accredited Visitor Service, for example, nearly half the volunteers are over 65, and some are over 85”.

Help is always needed. Behind the scenes or in the forefront, volunteers with Age Concern make a difference in the lives of others.

For more information about Age Concern, or to volunteer for your local Age Concern, visit www.ageconcern.org.nz

ENDS

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