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Friends a perfect match

Lorraine Etherton and Simone Nannetti were introduced through the Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme (ACVVS), but they quickly became firm friends.

‘We just clicked,’ Simone says.

A former businesswoman and carer, she had become socially isolated after separating from her partner of 30 years.

A local ACVVS coordinator put her in touch with Lorraine, who has been a volunteer with the scheme and its predecessor for 30 years.

‘We love exactly the same things: craft, cooking, talking about old times,’ Lorraine says.

‘We got on so well, I said to [the coordinator], maybe you could get me someone else to volunteer with and I can just have Simone as a friend.’

Lorraine and Simone

The speed and strength of the bond the two women have forged doesn’t surprise ACVVS State Network Member Esis Tawfik.

‘We match people carefully to encourage exactly this sort of organic friendship,’ she says.

For Simone, Lorraine has made a big difference to her life simply by ‘being there’.

‘She’s good at her job and she is very, very kind,’ she says.

‘I get to share her dog and her family – there is always someone coming or going at her house. And Lorraine has asked me to her place for Christmas. That’s a big thing.

On her part, Lorraine says she gets as much as she gives.

‘I always wanted to be a nurse – that was my dream – but my father wanted me to become a secretary.

‘In those days, you did what your father told you. I never should have listened to him.

‘I love people. If they have a problem, I seem to like to help them with it.

‘Simone wasn’t in a very good situation when I first saw her. She tells me I brought her out of herself.’

Aged Care Volunteer Visitors Scheme

If you, or someone you know, would like to request or become a volunteer visitor, or learn more about the scheme visit our webpage.