Volunteers who have collectively given more than 1,000 years of service to Harbour Hospice were recently honoured in three community celebrations.
The hospice recognised almost 150 staff and volunteers for long-service milestones ranging from five to 30 years.
Harbour Hospice Trustee Wilf Marley is the longest-serving volunteer to be awarded, with 31 years in a governance role. A senior partner of accounting firm Marley Loft, Wilf was a founding trustee of North Shore Hospice in 1988, served as President of Hospice NZ and received a QSM for community service in 2005.
Wilf says he knew nothing about hospice when the group raising funds for an inpatient unit approached him for advice.
“In fact, I had to go to the dictionary and look it up,” he says. “Thankfully hospice is more widely known now.”
In 1988, the service was in its infancy and run entirely by volunteers with no government funding. Harbour Hospice has since expanded into a professional service with just over half its costs funded by Waitemata District Health Board contracts. Wilf believes the greatest challenge now is to meet the growing demand for palliative care as people live longer and come to hospice with more complex needs.
He continues to volunteer because of almost daily reminders of how much hospice care improves the lives of people with a progressive, incurable illness.
“Everyone involved with hospice is so inspirational, enjoyable and genuine,” Wilf says. “It’s a great environment and that’s what’s kept me there.”
Carol Henderson, left, and Kate Greenaway have both been volunteering in the Warkworth Hospice Shop for five years.
Janice McCullough, left, and Dianne Jull, Harbour Hospice volunteers for 10 and five years respectively, with Warkworth Hospice Shop assistant manager Jill Free at the long-service awards in Tui House.
Shirley Prictor, with husband Murray, has volunteered in the Wellsford Hospice Shop for 20 years.
The ninth Catwalk Arts wearable art awards, a Harbour Hospice fundraiser, will be staged at Mahurangi College Auditorium on Saturday, August 24 at 2pm and 7pm. This year’s show will focus on the innovative use of waste and re-used materials.