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Volunteers add real value to health services

7 March 2005

Volunteers add real value to health services

Around the country events are taking place to recognise national volunteer awareness week which runs next week from 7 to 13 March. Volunteers work in a diverse range of organisational and community settings such as art and craft, disability, education, environment, health/welfare, service to the community, and youth.

Chris Clarke, chief executive officer Hawke’s Bay District Health Board says “We currently have 77 volunteers, aged from 35 to 90 working with us. They play a really valuable role in the lives of patients and in supporting the work of our paid staff.”

Hawke’s Bay Hospital operates several different, very rewarding, volunteer service programmes. The community volunteer programme sees volunteers visiting people in their own homes. At Hawke’s Bay Hospital the Meet and Greet service has volunteers meeting patients and visitors and escorting them to clinics or wards, in the children’s ward volunteers work alongside play therapists, two groups – the Friends of the Hospital and Flower Ladies - are also manned by volunteers.

“Volunteering is something anyone can do, and like many things in life, what you get out of it depends on what you put in. When you make a positive difference in someone’s life it can be a very special feeling,” says Brooke Howes, volunteer coordinator.

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board offers many opportunities for people to gift time with volunteer programmes tailored to suit those who are not in paid employment, already employed or with schoolchildren. People wishing to find out more or for an application form can contact Brooke on (06) 878 8109 extn. 5805.

ENDS

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