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Volunteer Profile

Joyce and Lois Kennard have always found a lot of strength in full-time work. They balanced full-time work in law and real estate with caring for both their parents until the end of their lives. Together they recognised their need for a change of pace in their working lives and made a brave step towards volunteering. It was also together that they were recruited and trained for the volunteer work force at the Eye and Ear.

Their reason was simple. They wanted to find a way to be of help to people in need. “We know what goes into looking after people,” said Lois. “We also know from experience how much it means to be looked after as a patient or a carer.”

While Joyce and Lois weren’t familiar with the Eye and Ear before their training, both of their parents experienced visual and hearing difficulties that inform their approach to interacting with patients.

“They can be very scared when they first walk in,” said Joyce. “You can see how a gentle word can make them feel at ease,” said Lois.

Joyce will keep a watchful eye over Eye and Ear on the Park and Lois will make sure things are in order at the main hospital on Gisborne Street. It is an opportunity for both to find their own groove in their new environment.

Just three weeks in, they seem to have taken to their surroundings and socialising with other volunteers. “Everyone is lovely,” said Joyce. “We’ve all got a common interest in wanting to help.” “Respect for patients really stands out in this hospital,” said Lois “I think this environment is something we’re drinking in.”