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Volunteer Week case study one

Volunteer Week case study one Jodie Molloy and Jan Mortensen

Freelance screenwriter Jodie Molloy didn't think she had what it took to be an IHC volunteer. Meeting her buddy Jan convinced her she did.

Jodie is now a convert to volunteering. She's signing up her friends and she's drawn attention to the kinds of work IHC volunteers do in one of the episodes she's written for a new television series she's co-written for TV3.

"I had it built into my mind that I needed to be an extraordinary person and I am an ordinary person. I wasn't sure I had the skills and experience."

But Jodie says it had been on her mind to volunteer as one of IHC's buddies so she contacted IHC volunteer co-ordinator Sharon Phelan. "I decided it was really time to put my money where my mouth is."

Sharon introduced Jodie, 30, from Takapuna, to Jan Mortensen, 41, from Torbay, and a friendship has developed based on a shared love of drama and theatre.

"Jan loves drama and she is into theatre and writes her own plays. I think she has directed a couple of IHC productions in the past. We just kind of hit it off."

Things that worried Jodie at the start such as whether she would be able to deal with Jan's health problems didn't worry her so much after she did her volunteer training. "I was nervous of not being medically equipped. But what you essentially need to be is a friend with common sense and compassion."

Some of Jan and Jodie's best times are spent chilling out in front of the TV.

"We like to go to the movies, but the nicest times have been when we she comes over and we get a pizza and we watch High School Musical," Jodie says.

They have been friends for the best part of a year. "Most people would be surprised at how easy it is."

Jan says seeing Jodie reminds her of how much she'd like to be on TV. "I like acting. I write my own plays."

She says Jodie recently sent her an autographed photograph of Shortland Street star Adam Rickitt. "I was going off Shortland Street and he came on and I have been watching it ever since," Jan says.

She says she recently celebrated her birthday with Jodie by going out to Burger King and to see Shrek 3.

Jodie encouraged her friend Lisa Joe, a public relations consultant, to get involved too.
"She is a real dynamo of a woman. We talked about my experience so far and how great it has been."

"It's one of those things you pay it forward. One person tells another person."

And there's a little bit of real-life experience in her new TV series The Jaquie Brown Diaries, co-written by Jodie and Gerard Johnstone. The comedy, based on the life of a television celebrity, has just gone into production. In one of the episodes, the celebrity is jealous of the relationship her "too good to be true" rival has with her IHC buddy and sets out to find her own buddy.


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