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When Hitesh’s grandad suffered a stroke and was admitted to hospital, the kindness shown by the staff left a lasting impression on him. From the moment they arrived, the nurses and doctors went above and beyond to provide not only medical care, but also emotional support to his family. “Their patience, empathy, and genuine concern for my grandad’s well-being was deeply moving and I’m forever grateful,” Hitesh explained.

Inspired by this experience and his previous volunteering at a homeless shelter in the UK, Hitesh felt compelled to give back. Volunteering in Wellington Hospital’s Emergency Department allows him to offer support and comfort to patients and their families, reaffirming his belief in the power of kindness to make a difference in people’s lives.

Volunteers like Hitesh play a vital role in supporting patients and their whānau during moments of crisis. They provide a reassuring presence amidst the busy and sometimes chaotic ED environment, offering comfort to those in need. Whether it’s holding a hand, lending an ear, or simply offering a warm smile, their goal is to make a difference in any way they can. Beyond emotional support, they also help to keep things running smoothly, maintaining a clean and organised space that fosters a sense of warmth and hospitality.

For Hitesh, volunteering at the hospital is about finding fulfilment and purpose in making a positive impact. “Personally, it feels like giving back to the community and knowing I’ve made a difference in someone’s life. Through volunteering, I’ve learned the value of empathy, compassion, and personal growth.  Professionally, it has provided an invaluable opportunity to gain real-world experience, observe healthcare practices up close, and build connections within the field. In the end, hospital volunteering isn’t just about what we can do for others – it’s about how it enriches both us and the communities we serve.”

And sometimes, a simple act of kindness brings comfort to someone in need. Hitesh recalls offering a cup of tea to an elderly patient who had been waiting for some time. As they chatted and laughed together, the patient’s mood noticeably improved, and they expressed their gratitude for his company. Later, the patient’s family thanked Hitesh for bringing joy to their loved one during an otherwise difficult night. This small but meaningful interaction reminded Hitesh of the crucial role that our ED volunteers play.

When not working in IT or volunteering, Hitesh’s real passion is hanging out with his furry mate Misti.  You’ll often catch them soaking up the beauty of our land, exploring the bush, hitting the beach, or just chilling in the park.

To those considering hospital volunteering, Hitesh offers this advice, “First, figure out your motivation, find a suitable role, prepare for training, and stay open-minded. Embrace the experience with enthusiasm and keep in mind the positive impact you’re making. It’s all about spreading positivity and lending a helping hand!”

We are incredibly fortunate to have an extraordinary family of more than 400 volunteers, who generously choose to gift their time and talents to help our hospitals every week. 

He aha te mea nui o te Ao?  He tangata, he tangata, he tangata. What is the most important thing in the world?  It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.