This article has been adapted from the original. To see the full article head to http://insitemagazine.co.nz/2017/07/05/knox-home-shines-at-health-ministers-volunteer-awards/
Knox has a strong relationship with Languages International, and many volunteers come from there. Like the author of the card, many are a long way from home. In fact, around three-quarters of the volunteers are migrants to New Zealand, with about 65 different nationalities. Knox offers a respite from their loneliness and a chance to improve their English in a safe environment.
Girls from nearby St Cuthbert’s College are frequent after-school volunteers, too, often making biscuits in the kitchens with the residents.
It all started in 2013, when the residents said they did not want to be “buddied up” to reduce loneliness; instead they wanted a friend and they wanted this to be organic. This led to the creation of the Knox Home Companions programme.
Fast-forward to today and there are now approximately 800 Companion volunteers, making more than 700 visits to residents each month. The volunteers range in age from 13 to 90 years old.
Companion volunteers create independence by supporting residents to reach their personal goals and provide the extra support that may be needed to get out to do their personal shopping, to Skype family or to go out to a café.
Elizabeth Knox is a deserving winner of the Minister of Health’s Volunteer Awards. Such a wonderful place and programme is certainly worthy of recognition.
Take a look at Elizabeth Knox’s listing on Eldernet
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