Wards throughout Waikato Hospital often rely on the generosity of their community to meet the emotional needs of patients.
In the Older Persons and Rehabilitation Building volunteers provide invaluable services that span from answering phones and filing reports to providing live entertainment and pet therapy.
Nurse manager Belinda Macfie said when the department went under a massive restructure the senior team realised the importance of embedding volunteers.
“There is no doubt that having committed volunteers as part of the team significantly enhances the patient’s experience and contributes to the smooth running of the service.”
As part of International Volunteer Day today the Waikato DHB celebrated with over 200 of their volunteers in the Bryant Education Centre.
The average age of volunteers in Waikato is 34, with several young people this year offering their time to Waikids and youth based initiatives.
Waikato University psychology students Jessica Fredicson and Ngareta Wairepo decided to become volunteers to gain some experience while completing their studies.
As play specialists they help some of the long term sick children in Waikids escape their realities and enjoy life as a child.
“We get to just to help them play and do some crafts, you can see it really makes the day for some of them.”
The programme was initiated to help sick children and young people cope with their illness but also teach young ones how to regain their confidence and independence after illness.
This year more than 215 volunteers worked across 32 different departments to provide support to staff and patients.
Volunteer coordinator Chris Atkinson said the hospital has appreciated volunteer contributions more than ever this year.
“They make a positive difference to our corridors, cubicles and filing rooms.”
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