Shop volunteer Ian
Story by volunteer reporter Helen Frances, Volunteering Northland
Hospice Kaipara provides home based support and clinical care for patients and their whanau to help them manage a life-limiting illness. Hospice services are well known throughout New Zealand, but each Hospice is unique, particular to their area and their communities. Each Hospice is affiliated with the national Hospice organisation but governed and managed locally. Hospice captures best of two worlds – supported by a national network, but truly grounded in the local community.
As the Family Support Coordinator for Hospice Kaipara Sharon Waterman is at the front line of care for people living anywhere from the Waipoua Forest in the north, to Paparoa and Pouto in the south, and Tangiteroria in the east. “It’s very rewarding work”, says Sharon. “It’s holistic. We’re looking after the whole family. Every person’s needs are different, every family is unique.” Alongside clinical support Hospice provides counselling and bereavement support for whanau. Sharon also organises community talks on grief and loss, recognising that these are universal human experiences.
Whilst Kaipara Hospice has professional staff, the organisation relies on volunteers to help deliver its full range of services. Volunteers typically help with complementary therapy days, driving people to medical appointments, and providing the biography service - listening to, and documenting, people’s life stories and life reflections. Sharon looks for people who are calm and easy-going, have a bit of life experience and have empathy for others to join as a volunteer.
Lorraine Baume is at the fundraising end of the hospice organisation. She manages the Hospice Shop, the earnings from which go towards the cost of delivering hospice services. She relies on volunteers to keep this busy shop running successfully. Some volunteers are drivers, picking up and delivering goods. Others sort and clean donated items, and do counter work. “It’s a colourful place” says Lorraine. “A multitude of things happen every day that makes the day interesting.” It’s also a supportive and social network for volunteers. “People enjoy each other’s company”, says Lorraine. Volunteer turnover is low, so there is a stable team for to support newcomers. It’s not just busy and social, it’s also meaningful. “I feel honoured to work for Hospice” says Lorraine. “What they stand for resonates with me. It’s a good purpose. You know you’ve done something good with your day – your effort is going to someone in need”.
If you would like to help your community through Hospice Kaipara either in the shop or as part of the family support team contact Volunteering Northland at firstname.lastname@example.org, or search for Hospice Kaipara on the Volunteering Northland website.