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In her voluntary role, Linda helps people who have no access to public transport or family around to reach medical appointments in and around Whangarei.
For some of Linda’s regulars, she’s the only person they will see all day, perhaps even the whole week. But she shrugs off any praise because, as Linda explains, she’s also getting something out of volunteering.
“I think it was just being able to get out myself, seeing where there’s a need and giving something back,” Linda says.
“What’s the use of sitting at home doing nothing when you can actually be doing something which is also beneficial for you?”
Linda is well known in the Northland region which means she’s often recognised by the people she helps. That’s not always the case though.
“There’s been people I’m meeting for the first time and it’s just nice knowing they’re able to feel safe getting to where they’re going.”
Social isolation can be a real issue for people who happen to live alone, have little contact with family, or are suffering from ill health. Linda witnessed through her work at Whangarei Hospital the “panic of how I am going to get somewhere” people in this situation can feel. That’s why, when she spotted the Community Transport role, Linda was instantly drawn to it.
“I never considered myself a volunteer, but even when I was growing up, I used to do things like this all the time. Helping the kids with school things and everything else. That is volunteering too, and nurses tend to do a lot.”
New Zealand Red Cross has volunteers like Linda working throughout Aotearoa, putting people first and giving back to their communities. They’re busy working where the need is greatest, and your donations help support them to be here for good.
How you can help
Your donation helps support our community programmes. Wherever you are, we're there too, in plain sight or behind the scenes, supporting vulnerable people in your community: www.redcross.org.nz/donate/where-the-need-greatest/