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New Zealand National Volunteer Week

What does ‘National Volunteer Week’ mean to Dove Hospice? An interview with Lyn Kirkham

This week, 20th June – 26th June, is New Zealand’s ‘National Volunteer Week’.  This week, we are taking the time to recognise and show our ongoing thanks for all the hard work, kindness, and generosity our volunteers contribute to our hospice and wellness organisation.

Following the interviews of four of our willing volunteers, which you can read on our Facebook and Instagram pages, we end the week with an interview with Dove Hospices’ ‘Volunteer Advocate’ Lyn Kirkham.  Lyn was a volunteer for Dove Hospice at the distribution centre for 2 ½ years before taking up the new part time advocate role.

We invite you to enjoy this 5-minute interview with Lyn to learn more about her role, some benefits to being a volunteer and why Dove Hospice is so thankful for volunteer support.

Lyn Kirkham, Dove Hospice Volunteer Advocate

Q.  With a title of ‘Volunteer Advocate’, what does your role entail at Dove Hospice?

My role as Volunteer Advocate is new to the organisation and recognizes and acknowledges the value our volunteer community contributes.    By recruiting and retaining volunteers for the Distribution centre/warehouse, the eight retail shops, our Trade Me store and our clinical services site, the role is essentially a conduit for product and service delivery.    As a leadership role, it is positioned to recognize talents, skills, interests, and experience and to drive process improvements.

Q.  Mahi Aroha, doing work for love, is happening all year round in Aotearoa and right here at Dove Hospice. To someone interested in joining the Dove Hospice volunteer workforce, what sort of roles do Dove Hospice recruit volunteers for all year round?

The organisation offers many and varied volunteer opportunities, either in our Distribution Centre/Warehouse, our retail shops and/or at DOVE HOUSE in hospitality, cleaning, or gardening.   We have two sessions per day, either morning (9am – 1pm) or afternoon (1pm – 4pm) with flexibility to work in multiple locations and as often as it suits the individual.   

Q.  Dove Hospice greatly appreciate their volunteers and the gift of time which they donate to help the organisation in supporting people with life threatening illnesses and their families.  There are also great advantages to each volunteer… can you explain what these benefits are?

Ideally volunteering is a fun experience.     It reflects very positively upon the individual showing they are self-motivated, self-disciplined, thoughtful and caring, curious to learn more skills, outgoing enough to want to meet new people and make friends, it satisfies a need to have a meaningful purpose in life and contributes towards making the world a better place.  It can enhance health by being more active both physically and mentally, and offers affordable and sustainable retail therapy opportunities…

Q.  This year the theme for New Zealand Volunteer Week is ‘Recognise, Connect, Reimagine’.  How does this apply to Dove Hospice?

Volunteers can very easily become invisible within an organisation and my role aims to expose our volunteers as a highly important component to the success of the organisation.     Being rich in skills, experience, talents and abilities, the Executive planning teams need to continually acknowledge and recognize the value in connecting volunteers with the organisation’s goals and strategies.   This way processes and structures can be configured so volunteers are assisting to their full potential in a rewarding and engaging, reimagined!!  environment.

Q.  Why is it so important to Dove Hospice that volunteers donate their time to the organisation?

Dove Hospice is different from the more traditional New Zealand Hospice model.   Dove Hospice receives no direct government financial support.  The services we offer are funded by our 7 retail shops, our online and Trade Me stores, fundraising, donations, grants, and bequests.  The gift of time from our volunteers is invaluable as it helps to support our organisation to provide over 5,000 holistic treatments each year for individuals in need, as well as supporting their families.  With the support from our team of over 350 dedicated volunteers we aim to grow our outpatient and inpatient services by 30% over the next three years.  We welcome those interested in joining our growing volunteer community to help the organisation achieve its goals.

Q.  What is the best way to enquire about volunteering for Dove Hospice?

The easiest contact options we offer are: 

  1. on-line via our website www.dovehospice.org.nz/volunteer-today
  2. complete an application form available from any of our retail shops.
  3. Email:  volunteer@dovehospice.org.nz

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