Like so many volunteers, Bronwyn has a personal connection to Mary Potter Hospice. When Bronwyn’s grandmother Eva became ill, the Hospice cared for her and the family. The memories of that time remained with Bronwyn, and in 2006 when she was looking to broaden her volunteer work she instantly thought of the Hospice.
“I was a teenager when I lost my grandmother. The Hospice staff were so amazing during that time. It really helped me think differently about death and passing on.”
Bronwyn began volunteering by serving meals to patients in the Inpatient Unit.
“Through that time there were people I knew who received Hospice care. My gratitude and appreciation continued to grow for the Hospice, the work they do and the care and support they gave to everyone who needed their help. When work became busier and involved a significant amount of time outside of in Wellington, I looked for other opportunities to help. I knew the Hospice needed the financial support of the community to continue to deliver its services so that was when I got involved with fundraising.”
For the last ten years Bronwyn has regularly volunteered at the annual Strawberry Festival and in more recent years has been an area coordinator for the Hospice’s Street Appeal. Each year she looks after the area around the Wellington Railway Station.
“It is a fantastic busy spot. Some of the local schools, like Queen Margaret’s, send a group of students down to help with the collection. It is great working with them and seeing young people giving back in this way. They are always incredibly enthusiastic and fabulous to deal with.”
Helping with the Street Appeal is a rewarding experience, Bronwyn says. Having the opportunity to talk to people who were donating was particularly special.
“A lot of people say, ‘I lost Mum last year’, or ‘I lost my father and the Hospice was wonderful’. For many, a lot of people have had an experience with the Hospice, it touches so many lives.”
With this year’s Street Appeal on 18-19 of September, Bronwyn will once again be coordinating at the railway station and says anyone who has thought about volunteering for the collection – or donating – should.
“Helping the Hospice is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Whether it is volunteering or giving money, you are helping a good cause. Your efforts are going somewhere it will be appreciated and to makes a difference to the lives of many others.”
Anyone wanting to take part in the 2020 Mary Potter Hospice Street Appeal on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 September can sign up to do so here.