2013 Volunteer Awards recipients

Health Care Provider Service Volunteers

Winner – Judy Buntings and Ruth Surgenor representing the Christchurch Hospital Volunteers

The Christchurch Hospital Volunteers were established in 1975, as a way to bring the hospital and community together. After 22 years, the team of now over 100 volunteers is still working continuously.

One of the main focuses is the hospital shop which is run 7 days a week by volunteers and which in the last financial year raised $209,000 for furniture, equipment and items for patient comfort. Alongside this, the volunteers are dedicated to making life easier for patients and their families by providing guides, a post centre, a library, and helpers in the playroom and oncology area.

The commitment of these volunteers was proven through the February quakes where they focused on making the shop available to staff, patients, families and visitors. They continued to assist with the hospital clean-up and patient support amid the challenging circumstances.

Runner up – Wellington Hospital and Health Foundation Hospital Volunteers

Wellington Hospital and Health Foundation Hospital Volunteers is a team of over 500 volunteers dedicated to 18 diverse roles, ranging from hospital guides, ward volunteers and pet therapists to mental health services.

Volunteers assist patients and families at Wellington and Kenepuru hospitals, Wellington Children’s Hospital and the Kapiti Health Centre. Volunteers also assist in the department from 9.00 am to midnight, seven days a week. Last year more than 33,000 guided visits were provided and 8800 garments knitted for infants.

The volunteer group’s philosophy is, ‘getting well takes more than medicine’.

Runner up – Shirley Miles

Shirley is Nelson’s ‘Pearly Queen’ and has made her name through both her volunteering and dress sense.

A British concept, Pearly Kings and Queens raise funds for their local hospice. Shirley is famous for her signature Pearly Queen suit, adorned with mother of pearl shells representing both her London heritage and the Nelson region and weighing in at a hefty three kilograms. Over the last decade Shirley has raised $100,000 for Nelson Hospice through her dedication collecting donations at local events, to achieve the fundraising goal she set herself.

Community or NGO Health Service Volunteers

Winner – Shine After-Hours Safety Team

Shine’s After-Hours Safety Team is made up of more than 40 specially trained volunteers who provide an urgent response to victims of domestic abuse during the weekends and evenings.

Following a referral, Shine’s Safety Advocates respond immediately and visit the victim to offer immediate support, risk assessment and safety planning. The dedication of the team mean that Shine can provide a service 24/7 to those in need. This is by no means an easy job, with the volunteers having to face very sensitive situations head on. Shine’s volunteers get a chance to make a real difference in the lives of people affected by domestic violence.

Runner-up – Kathie Smith

This is Kathie’s 34th year as a volunteer with Arthritis New Zealand.

From fundraising to governance there is little that Kathie hasn’t done during her time with the organisation as the health system has changed along with treatment for people with arthritis. Kathie has supported the organisation and its people helping it to adapt through direction and leadership. Kathie is described by Arthritis New Zealand as their ‘organisational rock’ and is valued for her approach which is caring and compassionate. Her calm manner, immense knowledge of arthritis and the health system have aided the organisation through difficult times.

Runner-up – Kathleen Sheehan

Kathleen has been a volunteer for Te Omanga Hospice for 22 years.

Kathleen began as a volunteer writing correspondence before moving on to reception. She is viewed as the ‘guardian angel’ by the hospice’s clinical and administration staff, undertaking a variety of tasks. Kathleen is known for her friendly, cheeky personality and is extremely committed to volunteering. Kathleen is extremely committed to volunteering – even turning up to work the Monday morning after her house was gutted by fire, wearing the only clothes she had managed to salvage. Kathleen is 85 this year.

Māori Health Service Volunteer

Winner – Allan Brown

Allan has made a huge contribution to the Māori health sector in New Zealand in the last 10 years.

Allan has been a member of the Injury Prevention Network of Aotearoa New Zealand (IPNANZ) for 14 years, serving as Chairperson of the IPNANZ Māori Caucus from 2005–2009. He has worked alongside the Tairawhiti Māori community creating a set of resources for children (Tamariki Safety) in te reo Māori focusing on injury prevention that have been adopted by several kōhanga reo. These resources were developed, made and distributed using Allan’s own funds.

Allan has delivered courses on Māori literacy on injury prevention in the Hawkes Bay Regional Prison, and mentors inmates as well as providing Māori literacy for young boxers in the Flaxmere Boxing Academy. Allan is a role model to other injury prevention practitioners.

Youth Health Volunteers

Winner – Matthew Wadham

 Matthew was diagnosed with arthritis at just age 10.

Growing up he participated with his family in activities for children with arthritis and later realised he could provide support to others in his position. Now in his 20s, for the past six years Matthew has used his own experiences to help support other young people diagnosed with the condition. Among his volunteering roles Matthew has helped plan the Arthritis New Zealand Children’s Camp. As an arthritis advocate for young people in Auckland, he provides welcome peer support to those newly diagnosed with the condition.

Runner-up – Dr Sudhvir Singh

Sudhvir graduated from the Auckland School of Medicine as the most distinguished graduate in his cohort.

While at Medical School, he led several volunteer organisations, including terms as President of United Nations Youth in Auckland and President of the Students’ Association, and helped establish 'Medical Students for Global Awareness' which assists future doctors to become involved with local and global humanitarian issues.

He represented students on the governance board of the medical school for three years, and made major contributions to tutoring and curriculum development. Despite extensive commitments to the public health system as a resident doctor, Sudhvir still finds time to volunteer for a number of organisations including DHB Sustainability and Clinical Information groups, the Doctors-in-Training Council of the Medical Association, the New Zealand Climate & Health Council and the youth climate organisation Generation Zero.

Runner-up – Tori Wright

Tori is our youngest award recipient at just 14 years old.

She volunteers with the St John Opawa Division and is a Youth Corporal as part of a leadership team that assists with organising and tutoring junior members in first aid and health skills. During the past four years Tori has dedicated 800 hours to volunteering and is working towards 1000 hours by the end of the year to achieve St John’s top shield in recognition of her volunteering work. Tori’s skills in first aid have been useful in a range of situations and she is regularly called upon to assist with medical emergencies. Most recently, while collecting during St John appeal week, she assisted someone in a local mall who had suffered a seizure.

Long Service Volunteers

Winner – Kathie Smith

This is Kathie’s 34th year as a volunteer with Arthritis New Zealand. View Kathie's profile under the Community or NGO Health Service Volunteers category

Runner-up – Joy Clarke

Joy is a Hospital Grandmother at Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland.

The Hospital Grandparent programme provides support for families and caregivers, and allows them to leave their child in experienced and empathetic hands so they can have some respite. Joy began this role almost 30 years ago, soon after the programme was set up, and is the longest standing Hospital Grandmother. She has devoted approximately 18,700 hours of her time to families at Starship, supporting many families and forming long-lasting bonds.

Runner-up – Daphne Griffin

Daphne is Whangarei Hospital’s longest serving volunteer – this year reaching a mighty 35 years.

Daphne began in 1978 as a meet-and-greet volunteer, welcoming patients and visitors to the hospital. She then spent 18 years assisting the physiotherapy pool team. Daphne has taken on the responsibility of keeping the book trolley service going after it was cancelled with her usual passion and commitment. She continues to enthusiastically guide and mentor new volunteers to Whangarei Hospital.

Back to top