Thursday 15th June 2017

Volunteering meaningful and rewarding

"I wanted to do something meaningful with my time and helping others has given me that and more," says mother-of-two, and volunteer, Lynne Riddle.

Lynne has been volunteering at Tauranga Hospital's Ward 2B for three-and-a-half years and loves what she does. She describes her role as 'hands off, hearts on'; as volunteers do not move patients or do jobs paid staff would normally perform.

"It's about doing those little things the nurses simply don't have time to do," said South African-born Lynne who moved to New Zealand with her family in 2008. "Like making cups of tea for the patients and visitors, general tidying, chatting to people, making them more comfortable, welcoming them and taking their minds off things. Every day is different and it's very sociable."

Volunteers like Lynne are being celebrated during National Volunteer Week from 18-24 June.

"With my daughters getting older I had more time on my hands and thought it was something I'd like to do," she said. "People sometimes ask why I do it, because they can't believe I give up my time for free. But I love it and get an awful lot from it. I have the time so why wouldn't I?"

Bethlehem resident Tony Waters, originally from the Kapiti Coast, said volunteers like Lynne performed a very important role.

"I have been in hospital elsewhere and have never experienced this level of volunteers, it's wonderful," said Tony. "Hospital can be quite a daunting place and to have a friendly face dropping by is very important. Sometimes people don't have visitors, so seeing that regular friendly face and being able to offload to them, it's an extremely valuable contribution."

If you would like to volunteer at Tauranga Hospital you must be over 18 and be able to commit to a minimum of six months reliable service. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Lesley Grant on 07 579 8650 or for more details.

Caring: Tauranga Hospital volunteer Lynne Riddle (right) chats with patient Tony Waters (left).


James Fuller
Communications Advisor
Bay of Plenty District Health Board
027 839 1791

Last updated: June 16, 2017