WDHB's new 'meet and greet' service a hit with patients and visitors

16 September 2015
During the past four weeks, patients and visitors passing through Whanganui Hospital’s Main Entrance have been surprised and delighted to have volunteers stepping forward to greet them and ask if they need help finding their way around the hospital.
Recently recruited Friends of the Hospital volunteers Sandra Wilson and Lesley Collins say the ‘meet and greet’ service also offers wheelchairs to those needing assistance and where appropriate, helping visitors get to their appointment or the ward they wish to visit.
Mrs Wilson knows Whanganui Hospital well - it’s where she did her enrolled nurse training in 1984 before embarking on a long career as manager of the Masonic Court rest home in Whanganui East. Now retired, she says she’s very happy to dedicate one morning a week to ‘meet and greet’ hospital patients and visitors and point them in the right direction.
For former Plimmerton resident Mrs Collins, who moved to Whanganui in May, becoming a volunteer has been a wonderful way of meeting other volunteers, meeting members of the public, getting to know Whanganui Hospital and giving something back to what is now her community.
At present, Friends of the Hospital have enough volunteers to greet visitors on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings only. It’s hoped, over time, the service will include Thursdays, Fridays and afternoons as well.
Another set of volunteers come in the afternoon to take the magazine trolley around four of the hospital’s six wards. And once a week on Wednesday afternoons, two volunteers open the hair salon for patients wanting to have their hair done.
Whanganui Hospital volunteer coordinator Lynne Morris says Whanganui Hospital is lucky to have a pool of enthusiastic people to draw on for volunteer tasks but more are needed. Anyone interested is welcome to call her on 021 063 0222.

Friends of the Hospital volunteers Sandra Wilson (left) and Lesley Collins