Volunteer Programme

Volunteers Programme

Waitemata DHB has a number of volunteer groups who support patients and their families/whānau.

A review of our Volunteer Programme completed by Raeburn House in June 2016 highlighted many areas of improvements to enhance the Waitemata DHB Volunteer Programme. 

Following the review our Volunteer Coordinator, Genevieve Kabuya, was appointed to provide a central point of contact and support for all volunteers and to develop a Volunteer Programme that is valued by the organisation, enhances the patient experience and meets the needs of our volunteers.

What are we trying to achieve?

Over the past ten months, the main priorities of our Volunteer Programme have been to:

  • address the recommendations in the Raeburn House Review
  • develop an overarching strategy which will support our service delivery in various roles and contribute to the achievement of board priorities: enhanced patient experience and achieve better outcomes
  • establish a consistent and sustainable administration system for recruitment of volunteers
  • strengthen the current function of Green Coats Front of House (FOH) who meet and greet volunteers (enhance satisfaction, increase volunteer numbers, improve rostering, update uniforms)
  • identify the increasing need for volunteers throughout the organisation with new roles such as Health and Safety volunteers, ward volunteers, etc
  • engage and collaborate with various internal (Asian health, Pacific health and Maori health) and external (community groups, Non-governmental organisations (NGO), schools etc.) stakeholders to enhance the diversity and inclusiveness of our volunteer pool


Volunteer Programme Progress and Key Milestones

First Stage

  • Recruitment of Volunteer Coordinator
  • Workshops with Volunteers
  • Update all volunteer policies and procedures

Second Stage 

  • Establish a sustainable and consistent administration process
  • Develop onboarding, orientation and training process
  • Establish reward and recognition system and annual event timetable

Current Stage 

  • Recruitment of volunteers
  • Engagement of external and internal stakeholders to support volunteer recruitment
  • Export other roles for volunteers 

Next Stage 

  • Identify and assign volunteers to be managed by each ward and service
  • External stakeholders to support onboarding and training of volunteers 

What have we done?

Waitemata DHB now has a total of 80 volunteers across across both hospital sites, an increase of 45 since September 2016

Volunteers - Lynn and Joan

Recruitment, Training and Support

  • Established a consistent and sustainable administration system for volunteer onboarding and recruitment, including orientation and training
  • Recruitment of 43 new volunteers across both hospital sites, 50% were trained in February 2017 and the remainder in August 2017 
  • A quarterly volunteer newsletter which provides consistent communication to all of our volunteer groups working at the DHB including Waitemata DHB Green Coats, Women’s Auxiliary, Radio Lollipop, St John and Red Cross 
  • Annual volunteer recognition and celebration timetable for all volunteers groups, across both sites. Five events hosted over the past 12 months (including International Volunteer Day, National Volunteer Week and collaboration workshops to set priorities for programme)
  • Asian Health Services assisted with successfully recruiting three bilingual volunteers

Extended Roles for Volunteers

  • Recruitment of three volunteers to support Facilities & Development team with monthly Health and Safety audit at hospital sites
  • Green Coat volunteers helped to conduct trip hazard assessments on both hospital sites

External Partnerships

  • We have created and reinforced partnerships with external volunteer organisations
  • In collaboration with St John, we are expanding their service from Ward 2 & Emergency Departments to Ward 14 and 15
  • Membership with Volunteering New Zealand gives us eligibility to advertise on the SEEK website free of charge and provides access to other resources

Did we make a difference?

The demand for volunteers has increased significantly so the programme is expanding more rapidly than anticipated. To be able to deliver and meet the increasing needs of volunteers in a cost effective way, we are:

  • increasing the support of external stakeholders such as St John & Red Cross to increase volunteer recruitment
  • advertising through various channels - Waitemata DHB Communication team, SEEK website, Maori, Pasifika and Asian Health Services, Waitakere Health Link and the local media
  • exploring ways to better use our current volunteer pool, for example offering the opportunity to perform more than one role 

Where to from here?

Initially the focus of the Volunteer Programme was to address the recommendations from the Raeburn House Review; however the increased demand for volunteers across the organisation has led to fast tracking of advertising and onboarding processes for volunteers. Within 10 months the Volunteer Programme has successfully created a streamlined and centralised administration process, increased volunteer numbers by over 100%, improved volunteer satisfaction and diversified volunteer roles across the organisation.

We now need a sustainable long-term plan to support and sustain current resources is required. Currently the programme is reactive to demand and all onboarding, orientation and training tasks are managed by the Volunteer Coordinator. 

We are planning the following to support increasing demand:

  • services/wards to manage and take responsibility for the support and training for their own volunteers
  • including volunteer information on our external recruitment website to provide a consistent method for recruitment
  • revamping of our external Waitemata DHB volunteer webpage
  • networking with local schools and other non-government organisations to increase volunteer numbers and enhance community engagement

Our aim is to further double our volunteer numbers (from 80 to 160) and to diversify roles.


Volunteer Recognition

Two of our Green Coat volunteers were recognised at the 2017 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards. Betty Murray from North Shore Hospital and Lynn Butler from Waitakere Hospital were runners up in the 'Health Care Provider Service Individual Winners'

The Volunteer Awards are an opportunity to recognise the thousands of unsung heroes who support New Zealand’s health and disability services and were presented on 22 June 2017 during National Volunteer Week, at the Grand Hall Parliament.

Betty Murray and Lynn Butler receiving Minister of Health Volunteer Awards

L to R: Lynn Butler, Betty Murray and Dr Jonathan Coleman MP (Minister of Health)

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