Community Volunteers – An occasional column featuring volunteers in our community

This week the Chronicle sat down with Maree, owner of Raglan Rest Home and Hospital, about the many members of the community that are involved with the facility.

Maree ..Tell us about the people that volunteer their time to enrich the lives of your residents.

There are a wide variety of volunteers who help from meals-on-wheels drivers, gardeners, musicians and craftspeople, dog handlers, mums and babies, morning tea servers, TV repairers, florists and those who come to visit and support our whanau.

No matter what the contribution it is appreciated by everyone at the Facility and enriches all of our lives. It is impossible to single out any one person or group as they all add to the fabric of what and who we are.

How about locals that help out in other ways?

The Raglan Sunset Motel donated chairs and a coffee table and other locals have donated chairs, plants, vegetables, fruit and artworks. Many of the local tradespeople have gone out of their way to assist us in repairing, replacing and maintaining a wide variety of equipment. We always try to use locals and see this as a way of keeping Raglan strong.

Do you have other opportunities for people to volunteer their time?

There are always opportunities to volunteer – our gardeners could always do with some extra help!

The residents love trying new activities and sharing skills with a group or one-on-one is a great way to get involved. This can be simple things such as cooking, knitting, writing life stories for residents, demonstrating a skill.

Our next project is to start a ʻwalking groupʼ where volunteers take one or more residents for short walks around the community.

We would like to trial a ʻMen’s Clubʼ where some activities and discussion focused more on the men is a regular event.

Any offers of help or sharing of ideas would be appreciated  – we can be contacted by phone, email or by a personal visit

How have you settled in as new owners of the Trust Hospital ?

  The facility is called the Raglan Rest Home and Hospital with the Motto ʻLoving Hearts, Caring Handsʼ. It has not been a trust for many years, well before I purchased the Facility.

We have settled in well and recently had our first two day audit by the Ministry of Health – the results amazed us all we got 100%. This is a first for the Raglan Rest Home and Hospital and quite rare for a new operators first audit.

This is a credit to everyone who has had input into the Facility – Staff, Residents, Families, Contractors and volunteers.

The challenge is to keep if financially viable and continue to improve what we do and how we do it.

What are some of the changes that you have initiated?

We have tried to change the culture to an inclusive model – families, residents, staff and the wider community. We have worked to ensure people are, on the whole, satisfied with the service, feel included and trust us to adapt to the changing needs of all.

Physically we have purchased many pieces of equipment and essential household goods – from sheets and cutlery to dishwashers and medical equipment.