Support for Bellarine’s community
BELLARINE Community Support Register supports the safety and independence of older and vulnerable residents and has played a vital role during the coronavirus crisis.
Ocean Grove woman Di Dupe is only too willing to publicly acknowledge the importance of the register to others in the community.
Di was initially reluctant to be part of the register as she was not used to seeking aid, but soon reconsidered.
“If those people are good enough to volunteer, then it would be churlish of me to decline the invitation to join,’’ she said.
Now, after being a registrant for 10 years, Di has a sense of security like no other without feeling obliged to anyone.
Having recently celebrated her 97th birthday, Di credited all the register volunteers for their wonderful work.
“That the volunteers are still kind enough to volunteer to contact us from their homes during this time, is such a comfort without being intrusive,” she said.
“I have a police card if something happens to me and the police have all my data should it be needed.”
Di tells the story of a time when she forgot to inform the register that she was going to be out all day on her scheduled call day.
When she returned home late in the day, there were several messages on her answering machine from her sister, nephew and brother telling her that the police were looking for her.
The next day, without giving it another thought, Di visited the Bellarine police station to tell them that she was going to be going away for a few weeks.
The police officer recognised her name and told her to wait where she was.
She was surprised when informed that she had been added to the local Missing Persons list as a result of her not being able to be contacted by the Bellarine Community Support Registrant volunteer on duty, nor having her next of kin listed on her file card with the organisation or by the police.
Denise Hibbins is just one of many hard-working BSCR volunteers who keep tabs on the 1,400 people such as Di who are part of the program. “If you are on your own, or know of someone who is and need some extra support, then we are here to help,’’ she said.
The register is presently operating remotely. For more information, phone or text 0480 228 674 between 9.30am and noon Monday to Friday or email [email protected]
To donate to the BSCR or become a sponsor, head to https://bellarineregister.org.au/donate-or-sponsor.