The enthusiasm and energy 11 Hamilton teenagers will bring to their volunteering duties at Waiora Waikato hospital campus in Hamilton will not only help them long-term but also aid the hundreds of visitors who come to the hospital every day to visit patients.
The Hospital Host Youth Crew stand out in their bright red shirts and from 4pm-6pm Monday to Friday they will be on hand to assist those struggling to find their way around what is Australasia’s largest hospital campus.
National Volunteer Week starts tomorrow (Sunday 15 June) and ends on 21 June with Waikato District Health Board (DHB) keen to acknowledge the many people from throughout the Waikato community who give their time for nothing to help people in their five hospitals around the region in Hamilton, Thames, Tokoroa, Te Kuiti and Taumarunui.
It is the DHB’s newest and youngest volunteers though in the spotlight when National Volunteer Week kicks off.
The theme for the week is “Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te tangata” which has been translated as “With your contribution and my contribution the people will live.”
Waikato DHB volunteer co-ordinator Chris Atkinson said she was thrilled to get so much interest from Hamilton teenagers when the call went out for help recently.
“We celebrate the knowledge, skills and invaluable contributions of volunteers. These young people bring an enthusiasm and energy to our hospital that is very refreshing.
“Many of them are considering a health-related career or something in hospitality and are keen to learn more about our hospital and help people along the way,” she said.
That certainly is true for three of them – Rexana Wallace, 17, Prarthna Reddy, 18, both of Melville High School and Samuela Tabudravu, 17, St John’s College.
Rexana’s mother was in hospital recently and while visiting her, Rexana got lost. The Year 13 student, who wants to be flight attendant, said she wanted to be able to help sad people by taking them to where they needed to go so “they don’t have to worry.”
Prarthna sees her volunteering duties as a “good opportunity to give back to the community and help people.”
She wants to study medicine and go on to become a surgeon.
Samuela intends studying biochemistry and health science at university. His motivation to put his name forward as a volunteer came through a desire to help other people and make a difference in the community.
In return for their volunteered time, they are learning new skills in customer service and working with diversity as well as fine-tuning their communication skills.
Most of the youth crew balances volunteering with other academic, sporting and cultural commitments yet still find time to help at the hospital.
“Their positive attitude and dependability is wonderful to see – they have enjoyed learning the ropes and meeting some interesting people along the way,” said Mrs Atkinson.
“The training wheels are about to come off and I have every confidence that this group of young people will represent our organisation well and provide a much valued service to our visitors and patients.”
Waikato DHB supports opportunities for volunteering at all its hospitals. Volunteering promotes good health and emotional well-being, and sustains and strengthens values of community, caring and sharing.
The philosophy behind volunteering for Waikato DHB is:
- Waikato DHB believes that volunteers have an integral part to play in the provision of health services
- volunteers do not replace professional services but, through their time, skills and personal interest, bring an additional dimension to the comfort and welfare of patients and visitors, and to the quality of service provided.
To find out more about volunteering at Waikato DHB go to www.waikatodhb.health.nz/volunteers
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