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This week we farewell our esteemed volunteer elder-statesman Derek Smith who has been a cornerstone of the Wellington Regional Hospital volunteer guiding team for the past two decades!

Over the years Derek has clocked up thousands of miles across the hospital campus, helping patients and visitors navigate the confusing maze of buildings so that they can get to their appointments on time. 

Reflecting on his unexpected entry into the volunteer team, Derek explained that, “I stumbled upon the opportunity while typing the church newsletter, and there it was – a call for volunteer guides, including men!  The prospect intrigued me, especially since, at the time, the only hospital volunteers were the ‘pink ladies,’ and I didn’t quite fit the criteria for that role!”

While Derek’s initiation into volunteering might have been by chance, his continued commitment has been anything but accidental.  As a familiar face at the help desk, Derek describes being a volunteer hospital guide as “The best paid job, because you are paid in smiles.”  His interactions with familiar faces became an integral part of his week, and his departure will leave a significant void.

Our sincerest thanks to Derek for his exceptional volunteer service, and we wish him all the very best.