Celebrate Volunteers - Annie Zijdel

Twice a week, Annie Zijdel comes to Middlemore Hospital to volunteer. 

"It's important to feel useful. To have a person."

"I help people who look lost and walk them to where they need to go. Some people come to the hospital and don't have someone to talk to, and sometimes, I'm the person they can open up to."

Annie moved from Holland to New Zealand with her husband and two children 37 years ago. She worked as a nurse at Middlemore in Ward 26. 

"I was in the Coronary Care Unit, and after three years, I went into district nursing for Counties Manukau and retired in 2016." 

"I started volunteering straight after I retired and was at Auckland Airport as a bluecoat ambassador, but when COVID-19 happened the airport closed and I knew Middlemore needed volunteers."

Helping people is second nature to Annie and volunteering allowed her to keep doing it at her own pace. 

"I enjoy the environment, seeing my old colleagues and my son and daughter-in-law work here. The people keep me coming back. It's nice to catch up." 

When asked about her favourite story as a volunteer, Annie's answer was this: 

"There was an older lady who needed to go to the Bone Density Service, and it turns out she's from Europe and we had a lot in common. She took my arm, and we had a connection."​

"It gave her something, but I got something from that too."

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