Volunteering ‘hugely rewarding’ for caring couple

By HBH - 1 May 2019

Volunteering ‘hugely rewarding’ for caring couple

Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Here at HBH Senior Living, we’re very fortunate to have many caring and generous volunteers, including people of all ages and stages of life. Two of these amazing people are Bruce and Nerida Carr, who became involved while living next door to Jenny Cribbens, HBH Senior Living’s receptionist and haven’t looked back.

Bruce, a retired police officer and his wife, Nerida, used to live in Rotorua and when he retired they moved to Botany approximately four years ago to be closer to their married daughter. They’re both now retired and say that volunteering is just another outlet for the caring work they’ve always done.

Nerida previously worked in a rest home where there weren’t any volunteers, so she can see the difference it makes. “It’s a great idea – not only for the residents, but also as a volunteer – it’s so rewarding. And for the village, it means an extra pair of hands so that nurses and other staff can do more for the residents.”

Nerida plays the piano in the rest home once a month and accompanies people to appointments such as the Super Clinic, doctors, dentists and eye specialists. Bruce drives the van, taking residents on monthly outings and occasionally accompanies them to appointments.

They are both great collectors and have for many years enjoyed this as a hobby. Nerida collects ladies’ fans and was thrilled recently when Rhys (one of the Day Programme attendees), gave her a fan that belonged to his sister in law, a missionary in Argentina. She has 120 fans and has given a talk and showed her collection to Rest Home residents.

As a retired police officer, Bruce collects police shoulder patches from all around the world. He has a very large collection and used to have them on display boards but upon moving to a smaller place has had to put them into catalogues.

Bruce and Nerida both find volunteering hugely rewarding and really enjoy the company of older people. They also volunteer through their church. They say that volunteering has made it very easy for them to settle back into Auckland life and to meet people.

“HBH Senior Living is a very well organised, beautifully presented and clean place,” says Bruce. “Everyone seems very happy to be here, whether they’re working, living or volunteering. Nothing is too much trouble. HBH really values its volunteers and we all have an appreciation luncheon together twice a year, which we enjoy very much.”

Bruce says the role of volunteer driver suits him perfectly. “I love driving and as a former traffic officer, I was on the road all day and night.” Of his trips out with residents, Bruce says they really don’t mind where they go although they do like visiting places that are familiar to them. “At the end of a trip I’m often thanked for ‘a wonderful drive’ or a ‘lovely trip’,” he enthuses. 

Nerida says that what makes HBH such a special place is that everyone is very caring and friendly and they treat people as individuals. “There is always something going on – from the Diwali Festival to St Patrick’s Day. It’s wonderful the way they bring the cultures of different residents into day-to-day life.”

Lisa Waldren