Supporters: NZ Community Trust

Supporters: NZ Community Trust

The NZ Community Trust has generously supported our Volunteer Coordinator role.

Since this grant was received, our weekly volunteer gardeners won the 2019 Group Award for Health and Welfare at the Hastings Civic Honours Awards. Amanda also welcomed 21 new volunteers, alongside maintaining our existing database of 366 regular and casual volunteers.

One of our volunteer programmes is our Life Reviewers that has 17 people who are trained to help patients tell their life story and record it in a published book for their family. With people coming to us with more complex diagnosis, and sometimes for shorter periods of time, Amanda is developing new ways in which life reviewers can help people who are dying to tell their stories – from helping a parents write letters for their children, to people writing their own eulogies, through to leaving video messages for family members.

The son of one of our patients recently expressed how grateful he is that his dad has written his story through our life review programme: “It’s hard in this situation to open up and ask questions about life, and what dad would like afterwards… [With dad’s life review] we now know so much more about him and have lots to talk about, to me that’s huge. We would pay for something like this to get him to open up.”

This grant has also enabled Amanda to help volunteers to connect with one another. This is important as many volunteers are new to the region and are looking at ways to integrate themselves into their new communities. We are conscious of the impact of isolation and loneliness in our communities and would like to connect people where we can.

These opportunities include invitations to morning teas at local cafés, to the cinema, or to local events such as an artist talk and a trip to Central Hawke’s Bay for their ‘Spring Fling.’ These outings help keep our volunteers engaged with each other and their community, above and beyond the service they give to Cranford Hospice.

We are extremely grateful for the support from New Zealand Community Trust. From helping in the day to day running of the inpatient unit or in one of our three retail stores, we simply couldn’t offer the services we do to our community without our volunteers.