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Our Super Volunteer Michelle

💜 To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we caught up with one of our incredible volunteers Michelle. You may have seen her looking after our residents in Kauri Lodge, sorting clothes in the Aroha Room, or down at the Kaeo Market. 

Interview with Michelle:

How long have you been volunteering for Whangaroa Health Services?

5 Years. I started off visiting an Aunty in Kauri Lodge, and then volunteering with the singers. Then I met Cathy when I was coming to visit my Aunty more. Then my cousin Mana said, “come with me” and I said, “where are we going?” and she was getting the uniform. So that’s when I started working in the kitchen and making a lot of mistakes; but Cathy said I could stay, so I stayed.

Then I just loved it up here, and started getting to know the residents, and they were like my family. So I kept coming and coming, and working in the kitchen, and I loved the kitchen. Then after Christmas I moved on to do something else, and I just loved it.

What do you love about it?

You know, it brought me life – to get out of my house, to do something.

When I lost my Mum and Dad, that was the hardest part, and I wouldn’t let anybody into my life. I felt sort of scared all the time. I was sort of nervous and getting run down all the time. Then when I’d come to work it was happy and I was happy. For a while I felt like I was just a volunteer so couldn’t speak up about things, but then I realised, ‘I’m part of this Kauri Lodge, this is my life. This is my home.’ So now I feel part of the team and I would never leave this place.

Then when I moved up here [to the Aroha room] I started to love it here too. I love running the shop, I’m part of everyone’s life, you know? I’ll never walk away from this.

What’s your favourite part about being a volunteer?

My favourite part is giving back to people, and helping people when they need it. For example, someone just found out they are having a baby soon, and so I’ve been asking around for baby clothes and toys. Then I can pass them on to that person who needs them. I like to help people, and I don’t expect anything back. I just like helping people.

🥰 If you want to find out more about volunteering with us, call (09) 405 0649. #NVW2023 #volunteersnz #volunteerweek2023

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