National Volunteer Week has just been and we were able to recognise the contribution of some of our volunteers in the media with an article in the Nelson Weekly newspaper. Here is what they printed:
From baking cookies to writing life stories, volunteers at Nelson Tasman Hospice undertake a huge range of activities to enhance patients’ quality of life.
About 500 people volunteer at hospice. Skills they share include hairdressing, flower arranging, gardening, office administration, baking, running events, selling raffle tickets and working in the op shops.
Roger Chapple attends one morning a week to maintain a section of garden ever since his wife died in hospice care in 2009. Along with three others, he prunes, plants, weeds, waters – whatever is needed. “I do it because I was so impressed with the way the folk here looked after my wife. It’s something I can give back.” Roger, 80, was a keen gardener himself but now lives in a rest home. He says he gets satisfaction from seeing the green space looking good. “And we’ve become good friends, the four of us.”
St Joseph’s school pupils Bronte Fowler and Caitlin McKnight, both 12, organise a team of up to 60 fellow students to take turns giving up their Thursday lunch times to help hospice with whatever jobs are needed. At this time of year, they may be called upon to sweep leaves, but also stuff envelopes, organise toys in the family lounge, help with photocopying.
Bronte says the other students are excited about the volunteer programme. “They’re keen to do it. We’ve got people asking and asking.”
“It’s just fun to help out,” Caitlin says.
Susan Ledingham was looking for something to occupy her before she retired as an NMIT librarian. She now writes handwritten notes to bereaved families. “It’s to say hello at this sad time, to let them know our bereavement support coordinator will be in touch.
“I knew I was coming up on retirement and thought I’d have time on my hands and I wanted to make a contribution and have something that was satisfying to do once I wasn’t going out of the house every day.” She says Volunteer Services Manager Rebecca Colley found her the perfect role.
“It suits me down to the ground. I love the process of handwriting and I’ve always been a keen correspondent.”
Rebecca says she is always looking for more volunteers. She can be contacted on (03) 546 3912 or email [email protected]