Matthew Bryson

I am currently the national Peer Support / Events Coordinator for Peke Waihanga / Artificial Limb Service

In my own time, I also work with Waikato BOP Amputee Society, Edgecumbe Development and Improvement Team, Disability Golf New Zealand, Sister Cities Whakatāne, and Edgecumbe’s taiko group, Kaguta.

What is your touching moment?

I have had numerous fantastic experiences with the many groups I work with that make volunteering worthwhile. With the peer support service, I always follow up with an evaluation after support has been given by the peer support volunteers. The feedback that I receive is positive and the individuals are thankful to be able to talk with someone who understands what they are going through and can get their questions answered by someone who has a lived experience of amputation.

What would you consider as the biggest benefit of volunteering?

When you meet a recipient of peer support service months later and see how far they have come on their journey, knowing that you have helped them is a special and unique experience that truly makes volunteering worthwhile.

What does volunteer means to you?

For me, volunteering means knowing that you are giving back to those who have given so much to you.

Sharing your skills and knowledge to help people work through their own journey.

And supporting the community that you live in, all of which is extremely rewarding. 

Is there any additional thought you would like to share with us?

Volunteering is a special experience as this not only helps the recipients in dealing with amputation but also helps the peer support volunteers too. I often receive comments about how the volunteer has benefited just as much as the recipient when offering support. Sharing with someone your experiences and helping someone walk down a path that you have already been on is a unique and amazing experience.