OPALs and GEMs Companionship and Support Program
OPALs and GEMs is designed for our young volunteer genuine empathic motivators (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. It is through this intergenrational exchange that assumptions based on age and stereotypes with be debunked.
Each OPAL in our program will have the opportunity to participate in meaningful leisure and social activities of their choice. Through companionship and support, they will have the opportunmity to make new social networks in a time frame guided by them.
We are currently working hard to attract sponsorhip and grant funding to enable us to pilot then launch our programs.
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 director 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 value community input and are aiming to host a focus group in the third quater of 2023 to qualify local needs.
Please contact us if you would be interested in participating.