Loyal volunteer recognised | News | Kawerau

Loyal volunteer recognised

23 June 2015

KIND HEART: Bob Marjoribanks was named in the 2015 Ministry of Health Volunteers Awards. Photo supplied

IF Hospice Eastern Bay of Plenty could clone Bob Marjoribanks, they would.

They have long recognised the Kawerau hospice volunteer as a special man and now the country knows it too with Mr Marjoribanks winning an award in the 2015 Minister of Health Volunteer awards.

He won the volunteer in a community or non-Government organisation category and will be presented with the award later this week.

The awards, which mark National Volunteer Week, highlight the commitment and willingness that individuals and teams of volunteers have demonstrated in the health and disability sector.

Mr Marjoribanks was nominated by Hospice Eastern Bay of Plenty volunteer leader, Rosemary Sloman, who says the award is recognition for all of the time and energy he had given to the community.

She said Mr Marjoribanks was a very organised, committed and humble volunteer, who had always taken his role seriously.

“He does a brilliant job and I wish I could clone him. Nothing is too much to ask, he makes himself available to patients, transporting when required for hospital treatment, knowing when to call for intervention from the medical team and how long to support bereaved person.”

She said Mr Marjoribanks often provided support to people take care of their family members who were dying.

“Bob’s role is a very personal one, where he gifts his time one on one in the end days of their life.

“He understands, from a personal experience, the toll on the carer in these circumstances and works to offer ‘time out’ away for the hands-on family members.”

Mrs Sloman said Mr Marjoribanks would also stay on to support the family after their loved one has died.

“Long after a patient has passed, Bob maintains a watchful eye and listening ear on the bereaved family.

“Feedback suggests they would not have managed such a stressful event in their lives without his empathy and understanding.”

Mr Marjoribanks has been a volunteer with the organisation for six years, after previously volunteering for Rotorua Hospice and Idea Services.

Mrs Sloman said during this time Mr Marjoribanks had always continued to keep up to date with new information, techniques and skills.

“Bob is also a trustee for the Mountain View Aged Care Facility in Kawerau, and has recently completed a tertiary course of study in dementia and the associated behaviours, in order to better understand the different dimensions of the condition, as the trustees consider adding a secure dementia unit to the

Mountain View facility.

“To this end Bob will also take on the support of those in the community diagnosed with dementia, as well as his volunteering for Hospice.”

Mrs Sloman said Mr Marjoribanks had a strong set of networks that he has been able to develop because of his easy relationship with most people.

“Bob respects all natural boundaries of cultural, age, gender, belief and ethnicity.

“He slips easily between Polynesian and Maori cultures, and sits equally with Northern Europeans and

New Zealanders.

“Living in a small town, he has an excellent network if a patient needs more practical support such as firewood.”

Source: Whakatane Beacon