Thursday, October 29, 2020
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In Good Company: Roleplaying for Volunteers

From the Fall 2015 issue of Springs of Hope:
When volunteers join In Good Company, they attend a training session to prepare for providing friendly visits to isolated individuals in their homes. A key part is watching two staff members roleplay. 
Sister Mary Mettler, Ministry Director, plays a visitor and Anne LeFresne, Program Director, plays a client meeting her visitor for the first time. Volunteers observe as Anne acts out the client’s questions and concerns and Sister Mary responds, showing how to visit a stranger, respect boundaries and create trust. 
“It’s a challenge to visit somebody in their home,” says Sister Mary. “Our demonstration helps volunteers feel like they’ve already done it.”
“I based a lot of the script on my own experiences,” says Anne, who devised the situations to show how a client can be grateful for a visitor’s attentive and compassionate presence. 
She looks forward to future training sessions where volunteers will be asked to perform with each other as visitors and clients, allowing them to experience the skills and values of friendly visiting. “Volunteers have wonderful intentions,” says Anne, “and this gives them some experience to go with it.” After training, volunteers continue to receive support through monthly dinners and information sessions.
Sister Mary invites potential volunteers to E-mail “There’s always a need for friendly visitors.”
Ibrahim Ng



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