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Volunteer Awareness Week 15-22 June

Volunteers add a valuable dimension to Hospice Mid-Northland and provide a wide range of supportive services to patients and their family/whanau and carers.

We have approximately 380 volunteers working in a variety of roles.  We are very grateful to have such a wonderful volunteer team.  It enables us to provide a level of service which can ease the load for our staff patients and their family/whanau and carers.

During Volunteer Awareness Week (15-22 May) we will be interviewing several people volunteering at Hospice Mid-Northland.  We asked Annie Forrest, one of our volunteer biographers, a few questions about her experiences with Hospice Mid-Northland (HMN);

Q. What prompted you to become a volunteer with HMN?

Annie. A very dear friend of mine was being cared for by Hospice Mid-Northland. This was my first experience of the wonderful and dedicated work the nurses and volunteers provided to make her last days as comfortable as possible, and in addition support the family at that emotive time.

Q. How long have you been volunteering for HMN?

Annie. 4 1/2 years (I think) as a volunteer, going out into the community, a biographer and minute secretary for the Board of Trustees.

Q. What do you enjoy mostly about your role?

Annie. I have always loved meeting and helping people and did so throughout my working life. I wanted to continue doing this and with Hospice I can do both.

Q. Can you share a special volunteer memory?

Annie. As a biographer with HMN I see patients who are coming to the end of their lives. My special memory is my first biography. On completion of the biography it was given by the patient to family members to read and to my utter delight I was told that it had helped to heal a rift in the family.  The patient, against all predictions, lived for some time and we became firm friends.

Q. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to become a HMN Volunteer? 

Annie. I don't give advice to volunteers!  But - volunteering is both rewarding and fun. Don't be afraid of volunteering at HMN. There are so many and varied ways you can help. If the area you choose is sensitive I can assure you that you are supported all along the way; there is always someone to talk to and to help you.

 Annie Forrest Hospice Mid Northland Volunteer

Annie & Peter

Learn more about our Life Biography Writing services

We appreciate and value our volunteers and look forward to hearing from you if you would like to help us provide service to the community.  We require a completed application form, a personal interview and stress the need for reliability and confidentiality.

Our Manager of Volunteers Services liaises with prospective and current volunteers, making sure that communication, training, support and task allocation are all attended to.  This maintains ongoing contact with all volunteers to ensure that they are happy with their role.

In 2013 our wonderful team of volunteers donated over 32,000 hours of their time to assist in the running of Hospice Mid-Northland which is the equivalent of over 16 full-time jobs. We literally could not do it without this generous and greatly appreciated level of support.

If you have a few spare hours a week we would love to welcome more volunteers to join our team. You make new friends, have a laugh and contribute to the community.


Becoming a volunteer couldn’t be easier Click here.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

  • It’s a great way to make new friends and contacts
  • It can be a way of exploring an area of interest
  • You may receive useful work experience and skills
  • It can be a successful means to obtain paid employment
  • “Giving back” to your community is very satisfying

What sort of roles exist and what time commitment would be involved?

The amount of time you commit to your volunteering is entirely up to you and it will vary depending on what sort of role you undertake.  The following are a few examples

  • As a volunteer in our Hospice Shop you are likely to be involved in some or all of the following roles: assist with incoming goods by sorting, cleaning, washing, ironing and pricing; keeping the shop clean and tidy; serving customers and carrying out payment transactions for customers (till and eftpos).
    • Our Hospice Shop volunteers generally work for half a day a week on a rostered basis.
      • The Kerikeri shop operates two shifts: 10am - 1pm and 1pm – 4pm.
      • Kaikohe and Kawakawa Shop shifts: 9am - 11.30pm or 11.30am - 2pm.
        • If you wish to work longer hours or multiple days, that’s fine too!
  •  Distribution Centre Volunteer - Sorting, cleaning, repairing and pricing donated items.  
    • The Distribution Centre which cleans, repairs and prices the donated items is located in the service lane behind the Westpac Bank. It is open Monday to Saturday for receiving inwards goods. We appreciate donations of goods in clean saleable condition however we have a team of talented volunteers who are very capable so repairs are possible.
    • Once a week   OR   on-call
  • Delivering equipment to patients’ homes
    • Our team of men whom we call our lifter/shifter/drivers spend between two to four hours per trip delivering loan equipment to patients as and when required. The frequency of callout is dependent on patient need and we rotate the drivers so that each person is on average only called upon once or twice a month.
  • Maintenance -  Have a practical skill ie.. painting, plumber, builder, electrician, mechanic, carpenter, upholsterer, etc.
  • Providing patient support in a patient’s own home involves sitting with patients whilst their carer takes some time out. 
    • Supporting patients in their home normally involves sitting with a patient for two hours on a rostered basis. On average we have two - three families a month utilising this facility so you might be called upon once or twice or month
  • Providing complementary therapy sessions (massage, reflexology, reiki, etc) in our Special Time clinic (therapy training required).Special Time hostess - Ensuring patients/family catered for and lounge clear and welcoming.
    • Some people who have training in therapy skills volunteer their time once a week to provide our patients with a complementary therapy session at our Special Time Clinic on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Catering Co-ordinator & Baker - Provide baking for the freezer or events when required and help at functions. 
  • Helping a Patient to record their life story. This involves sitting with a patient in their home. Skills required: confidentiality, empathy and understanding, good listening skills and able to tape and transcribe. Training provided.
  • Supporting our fundraising events in a variety of ways: organising events, baking, setting up, manning stands and/or selling raffle tickets, directing traffic, collecting entrance fees, etc.
  • Providing administrative support: e.g. folding and labeling our newsletter ready for mailing out.
  • Gardener – Helping to maintain a patient’s garden or the Hospice grounds.  May only require a few visits.  Mow lawn, light weeding and light shrub trimming.
  • Other -  Anything else in between, sewing, artist, music etc.  If you have a skill that you think might be helpful, please do contact us.

How do I become a volunteer?

Becoming a volunteer couldn’t be easier.

Simply fill in the online form CLICK HERE and we will contact you to arrange a time for a meeting to discuss the best options for you and to complete the paperwork.

Alternatively simply call into our office or phone us on 09 407 7799 and ask to speak to our Manager of Volunteer Services. She will arrange a suitable time for you to come into our office to complete our application forms, have a personal interview and discuss the area(s) of volunteering that are of interest to you.

For safety and privacy reasons processing applications takes a few weeks and then she will contact you and welcome you to our team.

Hospice mid-northland
Address - 464 Kerikeri Road, Kerikeri
Postal - PO Box 141, Kerikeri 0245
(Please use our PO Box if you intend on sending mail)
Phone 09 407 7799 - email
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Charities Commission Registration Number CC1024
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