Friends of the Hospital calling for more volunteers
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28 April 2015
 
Would you be happy to set aside a couple of hours a week to voluntarily support patients, and/or visitors to Whanganui Hospital?
 
If so, the Friends of the Hospital volunteer group would love to hear from you. Group chair Lynne Morris says she is always on the lookout for new volunteers but the need to strengthen their numbers has taken on added significance.
 
“At present we have Magazine Trolley/Ward volunteers who offer reading material to patients on alternative days including weekends,” Mrs Morris says.  “In addition to the trolley duty, they perform tasks which might include arranging flowers, keeping a patient company or reading to a patient, which the ward clinical nurse manager will ask them to do.
 
“However, if we can increase our volunteer numbers, we want to introduce a meet and greet role which would see volunteers based at the front entrance welcoming patients and visitors to the hospital, giving directions and when needed, leading people to the point they are going to. There are plans afoot to make sure all our volunteers are easily identifiable. How we do that is still being discussed.”
 
Mrs Morris says the qualities she’s looking for in volunteers are politeness, kindness, friendliness and approachability.
 
“We need volunteers who relate well to everyone no matter what their age, race, social background or physical and mental abilities. Our volunteers need to be able to push the magazine trolley around, and having a flair for design is a big plus when it comes to flower arranging and displaying magazines. And they must be tidy/well-presented, wear ID and meet security clearance requirements.
 
“While we know it takes a special person to volunteer, hospital volunteers are generally very caring and keen to make a difference to people who are unwell or feeling vulnerable.
 

Friends of the Hospital’s youngest volunteer 17-year-old Nubeerah Khan.
“Once we’ve checked someone’s suitability for the role and provided training we ask that they set aside a couple of hours a week which in most circumstances, people are happy and able to do. Thanks to their life experience, our volunteers bring a range of different skills and perspectives to the role.”
 
Mrs Morris says at present the group’s youngest volunteer is 17-year-old High School prefect Nubeerah Khan. At the other end of the scale, Friends of the Hospital’s oldest volunteer is a ‘very special’ 72-year-old.
 
Mrs Morris asks anybody interested in putting themselves forward to become a volunteer to contact her by emailing whanganui.friendsofhospital@gmail.com or to phone 021 063 0222.