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HBDHB volunteers recognised on 5 December

MEDIA RELEASE

4 December 2003

HBDHB volunteers recognised on 5 December – International Volunteers Day

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board is recognising its 112 volunteers this Friday with a special morning tea to say ‘thanks’ to the team of volunteers who give up their valuable time to make a positive difference for patients at Hawke’s Bay Hospital and in the community.

Guest speaker at the morning tea, Alison Marshall, is chair of Volunteering New Zealand. Alison says the last Census showed that over one million people had undertaken voluntary work in the previous two weeks.

A statistics New Zealand time-use study shows that 247 million hours are spent volunteering in organisations in New Zealand each year. This is the equivalent of 6.175 million working weeks and at $10 per hour, is worth $2.47 billion.

Perry Hornby, volunteer coordinator for Hawke’s Bay District Health Board said it was certainly a growth industry. “We are very lucky in Hawke’s Bay to have such strong support from a diverse group of people who give generously of their time and talents, Perry said.

“We have the meet and greet volunteers who make life a lot easier for those coming in to the hospital system; there are people who help out in clerical and mail distribution areas; a home visiting service; volunteers run our ‘library book ’ service for long term patients, there are the flower ladies, friends of the hospital, and volunteers help our play therapist in the children’s ward. We are also very proud of a current trial programme where volunteers are supporting staff at one of our community mental health recovery centres, Walnut Grove.

Perry added that HBDHB was always looking to expand its army of volunteers. “Before anyone can be involved with our programmes we provide free information and training sessions. These are held quarterly throughout the year with the next date scheduled for February 2004. Anyone interested in giving the gift of time, could contact her at the hospital. Perry Hornby phone (06) 878 8109 ext. 5805 or by email – perry.hornby@hawkesbaydhb.govt.nz

DHB chief executive, Chris Clarke said volunteers played a valuable role in the smooth running of the hospital and health services. “They are there behind the scenes, often unnoticed, making a big difference to people’s experience of our services. The value they add is significant – volunteers can help make a good service, great.

“A friendly face greeting you at the front door does wonders to allay someone’s fears when coming into hospital. I am absolutely delighted with the work carried out by our volunteers,” Chris Clarke said. “They are appreciated, and they do make a positive difference for Hawke’s Bay people”

Alison Marshall says she’s keen to see all voluntary groups in Hawke’s Bay team up to form a Volunteer Centre, a concept that would see the development of:

- A single recruitment and referral service of volunteers to volunteer opportunities within registered agencies
- training for individuals and agencies/projects
- information and support for agencies/projects
- promotion of best practice in volunteer involvement
- advocacy for and on behalf of volunteers and not-for-profit agencies/projects

For more information on volunteering, check out www.volunteernow.org.nz.

HBDHB volunteers will be awarded appreciation certificates for their gift of time ranging from 1-4 years, and a special ‘thank you’ cake will be cut by volunteers as part of the celebrations at Harding Hall in the Hawke’s Bay Hospital grounds this Friday morning.

END


GUEST SPEAKER

Chairperson of Volunteering New Zealand:

Alison Marshall

Alison is the National Manager of Volunteer Services for the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind and is also a Locality
Co-ordinator for the Waikato/Bay of Plenty area working with the Foundation’s Advisory committees within this area.

Prior to joining the Foundation she worked with IHC in Hamilton as a Community Services Manager and before that with the Department of Social Welfare as a Social Worker in the Whakatane area. She was also employed by the Waiariki Polytechnic in Whakatane as a part-time tutor.

She is currently chairperson of the Volunteering Waikato Board of Trustees having been involved with Volunteering Waikato since 1992. It is through her involvement with Volunteering Waikato she became involved in the establishment of Volunteering New Zealand.

In addition she is actively involved with Guides New Zealand as a District Co-ordinator and in school related activities at the Waikato Waldorf School, Rudolf Steiner initiative, where two of her three children attend.

Since 1998 she holds the position as chairperson for the Waikato Polytechnic’s Social Human Services Programme Advisory Committee.

Alison has a strong interest and commitment to Volunteering and to community involvement, on both a professional and personal basis, with wide-ranging experience, interest, skills and enthusiasm.

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