Charlie’s Gift

Community Programs

younger woman giving support to an older woman

OPALs and GEMs Companionship and Support Program

OPALs and GEMs is designed for young adult volunteer companions (GEMs) to provide companionship to an older person affected by loneliness (OPAL).

This program is based on mutual trust and respect in which the GEM listens to their OPAL and supports them to overcome barriers to social engagement.

Each OPAL participating in the program will have the opportunity to participate in leisure and social activities of their choice, make new friends and supported to continue participating in their chosen activity at the conclusion fo the program.

We aim to pilot this program APRIL 2023

Our OPALs and GEMs community Programs are designed to provide:


  • Companionship when you feel alone and not head. safe space for to be heard and to share your story
  • A safe and confidential to be heard and share your story. 
  • An opportunity for you to engage with a younger person, learn from each other and mutually benefit from the experience.
  • An opportunity to increase educate a younger person of what is is to be older and debunk any potential assumptions. 
  • an opportunity for you to identify barriers preventing social connection and overcome them.
  • an opportunity to explore the types of social and leisure activities meaningful and enjoyable to you.
  • Provide an opportunity to form new social relationships.
  • Enable you to continue participating in your choice of leisure/social engagement after the program concludes. 

Participants of our programs remain the focus of our programs from start to finish. 

You are the directors of your program. Our role is to accompany you, follow your lead  provide support and assist you to achieve what you want to gain from our program

GEM Education and Mentoring Program

Charlie’s Gift like to give back and acknowledge the value of our GEM Volunteers. 

Our GEM Education and Mentoring Program is designed to provide young university students interested in health and wellbeing disciplines to:

  • Learn and strengthen soft skills and effective communication skills in a non clinical,  practical and supported setting.
  • Learn from older people and see them as unique, diverse, individuals.
  • Practise skills such as empathy, communication, boundaries, problem solving, critical thinking in a peer group, interactive setting.
  • Gain skills and practical experience to benefit employment opportunities.
  • Increase social awareness of ‘what it is to be an older person’ as well as the issues impacting them.
  • Increase social networks and experiences. 

We aim to pilot this program APRIL 2023

three volunteers