For immediate release
Date 25 September 2008
Generous, Committed Hospital Hosts Thanked
Waikato Hospital's host service was established in 2003 with 18 dedicated volunteers giving up their own time to help patients and visitors find their way.
Since then, the service has doubled and the hospital hosts have gifted a total of 25,382 hours.
Six of these original hosts are still volunteering at Waikato Hospital as well as three who started shortly after.
Waikato District Health Board staff recognised and celebrated this generous commitment and dedication yesterday in a special ceremony for the hospital hosts.
Volunteer co-ordinator Chris Atkinson, with senior management and members of the Waikato District Health Board, presented them each with a special certificate and gift vouchers.
"It was just a small gesture to say a big thanks for all the hard work they put in every day.
"They are the face of our hospital for so many people and play such a vital role in the day-to-day operations; particularly with all the changes happening at the moment.
"Without their input and commitment visitors would still be struggling with the new building.
"They do it out of the goodness of their own hearts and it was important that we thanked them for that," she said.
Other volunteers also received certificate and badges for reaching 40, 100 and 1000-hour milestones.
Ms Atkinson co-ordinates 166 volunteer positions throughout the hospital, ranging from the hospital hosts, friends of the emergency department and the shuttlebug drivers
"When we first started the hospital host service I never imagined it would grow to be so large and that we would still have some of the original hosts five years on.
"They provide such an important service to the hospital and it takes some pretty special people to donate their own time to this level and turn up every day with a smile on their face," Ms Atkinson said.
"It's like they say 'if you employ average people you'll have an average service' but we have a great service and that all comes down to the people."
Waikato Hospital's volunteer programme requires a minimum commitment of 40 hours over three months, equating to about four hours a week.
If you are interested in doing your bit and becoming a volunteer visit www.waikatodhb.govt.nz/volunteer.