Terry Dooley has been volunteering with COTA Victoria’s Older Men: New Ideas (OM:NI) men’s discussion groups since 2015.
“I chose to get involved in this concept as it was to focus on men coming together to simply chat about matters of interest to one another and to share experiences in a friendly stressless environment,” he said, reflecting on his service.
“This has provided a forum for 15 men to participate [in discussion] on a fortnightly basis, which has resulted in the evolution of a closely knit and supportive network of men in ages from late 60 years of age to 92 years,” he continued.
While OM:NI’s premise is simple, it goes a long way in establishing connections and addressing health and wellbeing issues caused by social isolation and loneliness.
“[OM:NI] has illustrated to me the necessity for men to meet one another on a regular basis,” said Dooley. “It was even stated to me that the fortnightly meeting was the highlight for many men of the month which they looked forward to immensely.”
In addition to participating in OM:NI discussion groups, Dooley also serves as a member of the OM:NI Advisory Committee, and has done so for the last six years.
“Being a volunteer for COTA [Victoria] has provided me with the opportunity to ensure that men can have a regular forum to congregate and enjoy one another’s company in pursuing [and] sharing new valuable insights into all sorts of living,” he said. “Wellbeing; emotional intelligence; financial advice; [and] healthy living.”
Volunteering has provided Dooley with “enormous personal satisfaction,” and has provided “everyday knowledge, bureaucratic, and communication skills”.
Victorian men aged 50 or over looking to meet other men in an informal, social environment to share knowledge and experience, are encouraged to join an Older Men: New Ideas men’s discussion group near them. To learn more, visit the OM:NI website or call our COTA Wise information line on 1300 135 090.