Minister of Health Volunteer Awards

Nominations open for the 2017 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards

The 2017 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards are now open after being formally launched at Parliament by the Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman, accompanied by Prime Minister Bill English and Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner.

The launch starred Wellington members of the Sing Your Lungs Out choir, a choir for people with severe respiratory disease, which was the Overall Winner in 2016.

Dr Coleman is pictured with members of the choir and choir volunteers.
Dr Coleman is pictured with members of the choir and choir volunteers.

The 2017 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards are an opportunity to recognise the thousands of unsung heroes who support New Zealand’s health and disability services.

Nominate a volunteer today by completing the 2017 Volunteer Awards nomination form (word, 71 KB), (pdf, 235 KB). Nominations close at 5pm on Friday 21 April 2017.

The 2017 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards will be presented during National Volunteer Week from 18–24 June 2017, New Zealand’s largest celebration of volunteering.

Video title:Sing Your Lungs Out Choir - 2016 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards

[Minister of Health] I'm very pleased to announce that the Health Volunteer of the Year award for 2016, goes to the volunteers from the Sing Your Lungs Out Choir from Wellington.

[Gayle] We were stunned! We feel so happy and so grateful. It's actually for our choir participants and that's the wonderful thing, because they come every week, some of them are so compromised and it's the big thing in their life.

[Ruth] 1, 2, 3, 4!

[Choir] La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, laaaa!

[Ruth] See! You thought you couldn't do it!

And we encourage anybody to come along who's having trouble with their breathing and what we do is have fun and sing. So singing's really good and we know that singing is good for the health, but what we found is that if we can encourage them to be a group that comes together and sings together, they can benefit from all the other wonderful things that happen when you bring a group together.

[Choir singing a latin song]

[Ruth] So we perform all sorts of songs. We've got a repertoire that covers Māori, Pasifika and some good old classic favourites.

[Choir singing Sting's Every Breath You Take]

[Maureen] She was checking me out for my breathlessness, my COPD and she asked me if I liked singing and I said "Yes, I quite like singing". So she said, "Right, would you like to join our choir?" Which I joined about 18 months ago and I think it's marvelous.

[Choir singing Sting's Every Breath You Take]

[Maureen] We're all the same. We've all got breathlessness and COPD. So we get on very well together.

[Choir singing Sting's Every Breath You Take]

[Ruth] Nice, we're going to stop there. Lovely, nice. Take a seat.


Minister Jonathan Coleman with representatives of Sing Your Lungs Out.

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