News

Making a difference with the little extras – volunteers thanked for their contributions

18 June 2021

Extremely highly valued by patients and staff alike, Tauranga and Whakatāne hospital volunteers are making an important contribution to their communities.

Making a difference with the little extras – volunteers thanked for their contributions
Some of the hospital volunteers who give up their time for others, and who are being thanked for their contributions ahead of Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu National Volunteer Week.

Volunteers at the two hospitals are being thanked by the Bay of Plenty District Health Board (BOPDHB) for those contributions ahead of Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu National Volunteer Week 2021, 20-26 June.

BOPDHB Volunteer Regional Manager Lesley Grant said the volunteers are vital because they lift patients’ spirits and improve their hospital experience.

“Our volunteers are smiley, happy people and they make such a difference to the patients’ and visitors’ days,” she said. “They add that extra dimension to the care of our patients. They are totally patient-focused from the front door to going home.”

Lesley added her gratitude to the many people who donate items for the patients. She also thanked those knitters who “provide a constant stream of delightful items for our babies and children”.

BOPDHB Board Chair Sharon Shea added her thanks on behalf of the Board.

“The word volunteer originates from the Latin word Voluntarius, meaning willing or of one's own choice,” said Shaorn. “The Board is extremely grateful for the generosity, aroha and compassion our valued Volunteers provide to thousands of people every year – of their own choice. Thank you. We see you and are very grateful.”

The hospital volunteers do the little extras that busy staff often simply do not have the time to do. These include things like sitting down for a chat, making a cuppa, giving out magazines and books, refreshing flowers, or helping with a phone call, amongst other roles. What at first might seem like small acts make a big difference to the patients and their whānau.

There are a range of roles for volunteers to choose from, and all of them go through a similar application process to the staff. These roles include: concierges meeting-and-greeting people and helping them with enquiries; maintaining and operating the patient entertainment trolley (magazines, books, puzzles, playing cards, etc); and approved Canine Friends pet therapists, whose dogs provide some stress release for all.

If you would like more information about becoming a BOPDHB volunteer please visit our  volunteering section.