Hotel Ashburton Volunteer of the Month - Alison Donald

17 November 2021 | Articles

Hotel Ashburton Volunteer of the Month - Alison Donald
        • MID CANTERBURY
          Meet another of the Mid Canterbury Volunteering Mid & South Canterbury' and the Hotel Ashburton Volunteer of the Month - Alison Donald. Alison's award was presented sometime ago, we are just catching up with getting the stories on our website as we lead up to International Volunteers Day - 5th December 2021

From an early age Alison wanted to help and care for others. Volunteering brings so much satisfaction to Alison. She said "I like helping other and I guess it’s always been like that".

Alison's days are busy whether it be her formal volunteering with a variety of organisations, serving through her involvement with the St Stephen’s Anglican Church or helping in a more informal ways like helping a neighbour.
A good friend of Alison's said to her one day that her daughter who was a District Nurse had Red Cross volunteers accompany them on their evening rounds. Her friend suggested this might be a volunteering role for Alison. Having wanted to be a Nurse, Alison knew this would indeed be a volunteer role for her so signed up. For eight years Alison was one of the volunteers who was a companion for the District Nurses providing support and a safe escort. After the lockdown last year the Ashburton Hospital made the decision to discontinue this programme.

Alison's first volunteer role was as a driver for what is now Elizabeth St Day Care. It's a volunteer role she really enjoys, and she says she has met some lovely people through this volunteering.

In her informal volunteering she would take an elderly lady to the Hearing Association meetings. At an annual meeting two years ago, her name was put forward to join the committee and Alison agreed to join the committee. This isn't Alison's volunteer committee roles.

Alison has a passion for Dahlias and her garden is testament to this. She is the Secretary and Treasurer for the local Dahlia group. While meeting her to find out about her volunteering the phone goes as Alison is involved in funding raising for the group. She is also the secretary and treasurer for Inner Wheel. For Alison Inner Wheel is one of the things that balances her life as it is something, she does for herself.

For several years Alison has volunteered in a role she thoroughly enjoys as a Meals on Wheels deliver.
The volunteering that brings her immense satisfaction is with St John. Just a couple of weeks before Alison was awarded Volunteer of the Month she was making and bagging 100s of truffles for the St John Garden party. Alison wears two hats with St John.

She is the local St John Co-ordinator for Caring Caller, a Friendship programme. This matches a caller and a person who needs social contact. They only know one another by their Christian name and never meet. Friendships have been formed through this service. Alison's says they are looking for more people with a bit of time and a friendly manner to give someone else a call and brighten their day. If there are folks who are lonely, do not have many visitors or family locally then St John Caring Callers could be a service to help them.

About eight years ago Alison saw an advertisement as St John was looking for Health Shuttle volunteers. Alison, an original volunteer thoroughly enjoys her regular stint on the Health Shuttle. In pairs the volunteers transport patients to medical appointments in Christchurch. The volunteers provide support, companionship, a smile and often a listening ear for folks at what can be an anxious time. Alison does not just drop her passenger at the door but ensures they are in the right place, feel safe and connects them with the facility.

Alison gets as much out of her volunteering as the people she helps. For Alison volunteering isn't about be rewarded for doing her work, but she is grateful and thankful for the nomination to be Volunteer of the Month. "So many people do so much; the community just couldn't operate unless there were people volunteering."
Volunteering Mid & South Canterbury are always looking for nominations for the Volunteering MId & South Canterbury and the Hotel Ashburton Volunteer of the Month. If your organisation has someone you would like to nominate email: manager-midc@vmsc.org.nz