Essie Summers kindness award winner Nemo Arriola pictured with the colleagues who nominated him.
From left to right: Arti Karan, Nemo Arriola and Joey Nacu
Nemo Arriola believes in the old idea that what comes around, goes around. So each day he sets out in his job as activities coordinator at Essie Summers Retirement Village to give out smiles and kindness, and that’s what he gets back.
He was a popular choice for the winner of the Christchurch village’s Kindness Award, with his colleagues praising his chirpy personality and the way he always went the extra mile for his residents.
His approach is to smile a lot and to try and have as much fun as possible with his residents.
“I’m a people person and I like to share my happiness with everyone. I think if you treat people in a nice way they will be nice back. What goes around comes around.’’
He was surprised when he got a call from me to say he’d won the Kindness award.
“Simon rang and said it was Simon from Ryman. I wasn’t sure who he was so I said ‘remind me what you do?’’
“Then I realised and I said that is so unexpected.’’
Nemo joined Essie Summers as a caregiver on night shift just after the Christchurch earthquakes but moved to the activities team eight months later. The village was damaged in the quakes and he has been part of the team that kept the residents happy through four years of rebuild and refurbishment work.
He was born in the Philippines and has just been granted New Zealand citizenship, received his first New Zealand Passport, and pledged an oath of allegiance to his adopted country.
So there is lot more kindness to come from Ryman’s new kind Kiwi.