'It made my summer more meaningful'

5 December 2022

Amy Tsukada, 21, is studying to become a teacher. She loves nature walks, baking and reading. She also volunteers in the kitchen at Harbour Hospice.

When Amy Tsukada finished high school three years ago a long, hot summer lay ahead. But rather than make a beeline straight for the beach, that summer she wanted to do something different. So Amy started volunteering for Harbour Hospice.

 “My grandma had been cared for by hospice a couple of years ago,” she explains, “and I’d really wanted to give back. But it was always a case of when would I be able to fit that in? When I finished school I thought, well I have time now. There’s no more school and there won’t be any uni till next year.”

Three years on, you can still find Amy in the kitchen at Harbour Hospice North Shore every Friday afternoon chopping vegetables, making tea and preparing meal trays for patients.

Her shifts are two hours long – and she reckons “you can always find two hours in your week”. “In fact, that first summer I still found time to hang out with my friends, go out, hit the beach – and do 30 hours’ paid work per week as well. If anything, volunteering only made my summer more meaningful.”

Amy thoroughly enjoys her shifts in the hospice kitchen. “I find it fulfilling. And the hospice itself, I find it peaceful. There’s lots of laughter and chat, everyone is lovely. I think that when my grandma was there, we felt so safe to be vulnerable. The hospice staff were so good at creating that space for us that I will always feel comfortable there.”

There are loads of different volunteering roles at hospice, from helping in the kitchen at our North Shore, Hibiscus Coast or Warkworth sites to volunteering in one of our retail shops, to admin and patient visitor roles and much, much more. Give us a call or email us and we can help find the perfect role for you – Mandy.Campbell@harbourhospice.org.nz or phone 021 527 912.