Wendy Peacock is one of a kind. The Keith Park resident has been volunteering two mornings a week at Starship Hospital, for the last 25 years.
Wendy is known as a ‘Hospital Grandmother’, and either reads or plays games with the children for a couple of hours to give their parents a short break.
“I’ll go in for a couple of hours and sit with them. Just really what a grandparent would normally do, says Wendy.
“The parents appreciate it so much. They often say, thank you we had a shower or met with a friend for coffee.”
Wendy says she gets as much out of it as she puts in and that she gets to meet the most amazing families.
“It’s humbling really. Some of them are given a short time to live. Next thing you know they are 20 years old beating the odds.
“Sometimes I’ll get a text years later from a parent saying their child has just celebrated another birthday. I get so much out of volunteering.”
Although her preferred ward is oncology, she has worked with kids who have broken bones, cancer, heart problems and infectious diseases as well.
In nominating Wendy for this award her Manager Lindy stated that Wendy has become a role model for other grandparent volunteers, and she is seen as the matriarch of the volunteer program.
In August, she was formally recognised by the Ministry of Health for her amazing efforts and was awarded the ‘Outstanding achievement award for health care provider service volunteer,’ at Parliament in Wellington.