IMAGE: CM Health volunteers Gael and Robynne doing what they do best - helping patients and visitors at Middlemore Hospital.
Making new friends, mixing with people, and keeping busy are some things that have inspired some of Counties Manukau Health’s volunteers to join the team at Middlemore Hospital.
“My friend told me that other day that I look so much happier, and I said that’s because I have something to do again,” says Robynne, who has recently returned to Middlemore as a volunteer.
Robynne and Gael are enjoying being back in their volunteering roles these last three weeks after the August lockdown meant the volunteer service had to be put on pause.
Both previously worked as volunteers at the Airport but came to work with us after the first lockdown back in 2020.
Robynne says she enjoys her time volunteering here and likes the feeling of helping people and giving back. She also enjoys meeting new people, and it helps keep her step count up.
“You feel like you are giving back to society, rather than staying home and reading a book,” says Robynne.
“It can be harder as you get older to make new friends and this was a good way to meet new people. The volunteers are a close-knit bunch and we often meet up for coffee outside of work.
“I tried volunteering at places like Citizens Advice Bureau and local op shops, but it wasn’t for me. I enjoy what we do here, helping, chatting and the people in contact with staff, patents and visitors.”
Gael, who worked here as nurse in the early 1960s, says she has come full circle and thoroughly enjoys her role here as a volunteer.
“I love the hospital environment. It is in my blood. You never know why someone is coming to the hospital and we help make it easier and help them find their way around, especially people who are alone or felling stressed about their appointment.
“People are grateful and a smile and kindness from someone might be just what they need. I love this job here and will keep doing it until I am physically unable to do it,” says Gael.
CM Health is currently recruiting more volunteers and there are a wide range of areas looking for a helping hand.
If you are interested in joining a great bunch of people giving back in our community, check out countiesmanukau.health.nz/our-services/a-z/volunteers/ or get in touch with volunteer coordinator Priti Naidu at Geeteshni.Naidu@middlemore.co.nz