Volunteers receive Outstanding Achievement Award

Congratulations to our brilliant Well Foundation students from both Westlake schools, who are the recipients of a 2021 “Outstanding Achievement” Minister of Health Volunteer Award.

The Well Foundation is the official charity for the Waitemata District Health Board and works to improve patients’ overall experience. Working alongside Westlake Boys, this year approximately 40 of our students had the opportunity to volunteer their weekends at North Shore Hospital as part of the Well Foundation Westlake Group.

The programme began three years ago with a small number of students and has been so popular that a recruitment process has been introduced to ensure volunteers are both able to commit to the programme and are interested in a future career in health.
Jumana Maash, 2021 Hauraki House Captain (pictured left), is one of the student leaders for this year’s crew.

“Winning the award makes me feel so proud of all of the students involved and the hard work that we do,” she says. “Knowing that what we do truly does make a difference in patients’ lives means the world and makes the early mornings and long shifts so worth it!

“We volunteer three hours of our time fortnightly to survey patients about their stay at the hospital and offer our help in any way needed. We are also encouraged to just sit and chat with patients. Occasionally when there aren’t many people to talk to or the nurses need some extra help, we can also help out by delivering meal trays, making tea/coffee for patients and visitors or sometimes even setting up doctors’ new pager phones.

“We have also been asked to help out during the nurses strikes for a day by answering phone calls, making drinks and really just being available to give the remaining nurses an extra hand. We haven’t been able to do this much since the hours are usually during school time.

“One of the most memorable aspects of volunteering has been spending quality time with patients and keeping them company. Over the course of our time in the wards, we have heard the most wonderful stories and had such incredible conversations with the patients. Working with the Well Foundation has been an eye opening experience that has taught us all so much. We have been really grateful to get involved in our local community and help a demographic we might not have had access to otherwise. It has been such a rewarding opportunity which the students will never forget and we have loved every second of it.”

Unfortunately we don’t have any photos from this year’s crew, but pictured top are Hala Barakat and Isabella Brown who were in the first group of students to volunteer.