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Edmund Hillary Kindness Award Winner

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Edmund Hillary kindness award winner Pepe Toe, pictured with the colleagues who nominated her.
From left to right: Almira Tumpap, Louisa Petterson-Hibbs, Pepe Toe and Amita Prasad.

She’s got a big smile, a big heart, and compassion to burn. But most of all, Pepe Toe never fails to go the extra mile for residents and staff alike at Edmund Hillary Retirement Village.

The hospital 2 carer at the village was a popular choice – and a completely overwhelmed one – after winning the village’s Kindness Award.

“I’m surprised, I would never have thought anything like this would ever happen in my entire life,’’ she says. “Thanks Ryman.’’

She’s worked at the village since 2010 and says working as a nurse in Samoa and caring for her 97-year-old grandmother were good preparation for the role.

Her secret to kindness is always to put her residents at ease before starting their cares.

“I always say hi and how are you doing so they are comfortable. And after I’m finished all the cares I always join them in their activities so I can have fun with them as well.’’

Pepe loves working at the village and has learned a lot on the job, completing her ACE and dementia qualifications at work.

She says Kindness is a strong part of her culture.“Of course being Samoan caring for your elders is part of our background.’’

Her secret to Kindness comes one down to one simple idea.

“I always just want to make people happy.’’

Her colleagues agreed, saying her compassion, kindness and willingness to help others shone through.“There can be only one (Kindness winner),’’ one colleague wrote. “Pepe Toe.’’

Another said: “She has compassion with the residents and she make them feel that they are loved and important. She's not only kind to the residents but also to her colleagues. Even if we have different cultures, she cares for us and help us especially when we were new in the facility.’’

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