Their way of giv­ing back

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By TERESA HATTAN

As vol­un­teers around the coun­try are cel­e­brated as part of Na­tional Vol­un­teer Week, two of Mata­mata’s most ded­i­cated con­tinue to do what they love.

Linda Mur­phy and Natalie Field give up count­less hours of their time each week to be of as­sis­tance to pa­tients in Mata­mata’s Pohlen Hos­pi­tal.

The pair are part of the hos­pi­tal’s Pohlen Pals ini­tia­tive, but Pohlen Hos­pi­tal gen­eral man­ager Greg Parker said Linda and Natalie go above and be­yond the call of duty.

Linda is at the fa­cil­ity ev­ery day while Natalie ded­i­cates four or five days a week to mak­ing life just that lit­tle bit brighter for the pa­tients.

Linda’s mother is at Pohlen Hos­pi­tal and af­ter a few weeks she saw other peo­ple com­ing in to help.

‘‘I thought I’d just love to do that and I’m re­ally, re­ally en­joy­ing it.’’

Linda sees be­ing a Pohlen Pal as her way of giv­ing back.

‘‘They’re look­ing af­ter mum so well. The staff lutely bril­liant.

‘‘They make you feel so welcome.’’

Natalie added: ‘‘I’ve felt welcome from day one.’’

As Pohlen Pals, both Linda and Natalie do a range of ac­tiv­i­ties with the pa­tients. They get in­volved with ev­ery­thing from lis­ten­ing and hav­ing a chat to do­ing nails and read­ing a pa­per.

‘‘For those that don’t get many visi­tors, just sit­ting with them and hold­ing their hand is enough some days,’’

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abso- Natalie said, adding that volunteering gives her more pur­pose dur­ing the day. ‘‘I love it here.’’ Greg said Natalie and Linda, along with all the other Pohlen Pals, are a vi­tal part of the hos­pi­tal.

There is al­ready a large group of peo­ple who vol­un­teer as Pohlen Pals, but Greg said he is al­ways will­ing to hear from oth­ers who wish to help. ‘‘It is a real fam­ily at­mos­phere here at Pohlen and our vol­un­teers are a vi­tal part of this ex­tended fam­ily.’’

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