Changing the odds for people who have been dealt a bad hand in life — that’s why Rita volunteers her time at Servants Health Centre.
Dunedin’s Servants Health Centre provides free healthcare to people who would otherwise struggle to afford medical treatment. It was founded in 2010 by two doctors and a midwife, who recognised the need for the service in the city and were inspired by their Christian faith to help others.
Rita is one of the volunteers at the centre, and she says she gets a real sense of fulfilment from her work.
“I came to Servants because of a desire to contribute,” she explains. “So many people have been dealt a ‘bad hand’: sexual abuse, physical abuse, abandonment, non-acceptance. We’re all a bit broken but if we can deal a ‘good hand’ to people, then we can help bring about positive change.”
One of her favourite parts of the role is seeing the positive changes in people.
“I see patients feeling safe and it’s beautiful. Everyone is welcomed here and we don’t judge. I love to see that every patient gets a welcoming face and that they are known and have a sense of belonging, because in life they are not always welcomed.”
While Rita first got involved to give to others, she has also gained a lot from her volunteer experience.
“I would tell any nurse who wants to volunteer at Servants that you will learn much more than what you will give. What I’ve learned here with regards to true general healthcare is phenomenal.”
For NVW, Volunteering New Zealand has launched an interactive map of volunteer stories from across Aotearoa. This map is filled with stories from volunteers throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand. This map celebrates the contribution of volunteers in their communities throughout Aotearoa. It aims to inspire people to engage in volunteering, Mahi Aroha and social action and to realise the benefits of weaving their communities together through their actions.