At the heart of Volunteer Coordinator, Jill Rolls’, working life you’ll find aroha – warmth, affection and connection with the people of our community. Here, she shares her Arohanui story.
After working 28 years at ACC, I retired in 2018 and wanted to do something meaningful with my time. My husband was already volunteering for hospice as a gardener, so I also signed up to volunteer. At first, I helped enter all the time sheets for the volunteers. A couple years later, I applied for the Volunteer Coordinator role and joined Arohanui in September 2020.
It’s normal for me to wear numerous hats on any given day – it’s all about multi-tasking. Primarily I’m involved in everything that has to with our volunteers, and am available to support them and discuss any issues that they might have. I’m across all of volunteer-related admin, such as completing necessary paperwork and Police/Ministry of Justice checks for all volunteers. I organise functions and cater for morning teas. When a person or organisation is interested in volunteering opportunities at Arohanui, I’m the one that they speak with. There are often various types of volunteering positions available such as in the kitchen, doing housekeeping, gardening, sorting clothes or serving customers in one of our 5 hospice shops. Sometimes a person has a couple days a week to volunteer and other times they have only a couple hours a week to give – any time people offer is valuable so I help them with the best fit.
I love that my job is so varied. I help with fundraising, I arrange volunteer events and I often get to talk with families and patients when I walk around hospice – while keeping an eye on the gardens/gardeners. One of my favourite aspects of a work day is working alongside amazing people and wonderful ladies in the fundraising/events office.
Our volunteers make such an incredible impact with the work that they do – they see all of the value that hospice provides to people; the comfort and care. They’re passionate about giving to hospice and saving money where they can. They don’t like it when we put on morning teas or functions – they provide their time and skills for free, not expecting anything back.
I’m a fan of the quote, “What you put into things is what you get out of them.” And when I think about what the word “aroha” means to me, it’s very much like my favourite quote, as well as the song, “Love is something – you give it away and it comes right back to you.”
If you or anyone you may be interested in getting involved and would like to volunteer at hospice, Arohanui has plenty of opportunities as you can see here. Please get in touch with Jill on 06 356 6606 ext 6408, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.