Capturing the fun of volunteering

HELEN HARVEY
Last updated 05:00 20/06/2014
oan Sturmey
Fairfax NZ
WORKING HARD: Joan Sturmey has been volunteering at the Hospice Shop in New Plymouth for nine years.

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Working on the clothing and bric-a-brac counter at the hospice shop doesn't count as work for volunteer Joan Sturmey.

"We all have a laugh," she said.

This week is National Volunteer Week and Sturmey, 78, is one of more than 1.2 million people who volunteer in New Zealand each year and one of 500 people volunteering at Hospice Taranaki.

Sturmey started with the hospice nine years ago after a friend started working in the shop.

She asked about volunteering and was told she could start almost straight away.

"It's a such a nice place to work. I've made wonderful friends working here. I enjoy the companionship." Working in the shop helps keep her brain active and, she jokes, they have a lovely Christmas party.

Hospice Taranaki chief executive Kevin Nielsen said they employed one of the largest groups of volunteers in Taranaki.

Over the past 12 months hospice volunteers have worked 96,000 hours.

Without the volunteers the hospice would not be able to survive in "anything like its current form", Nielsen said.

Volunteers are urgently needed at the hospice shops, including the warehouse at Borrell Ave, in Westown in New Plymouth, Waiwhakaiho, Stratford and Hawera. There are also other roles available at Te Rangimarie.

Hospice Taranaki has a stand in Centre City this week to raise awareness of volunteering.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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