SupportLink volunteer Dean finds his purpose

By PSS | Posted: Thursday November 14, 2019

Like all of our services, we rely heavily on the support and hard work of our amazing volunteers. Every year we see new people join us to help all of our residents and clients, each one with their own incredible stories.

The Enliven SupportLink service is crucial when it comes to finding the perfect match between volunteers and the older people that need a helping hand. We strive to ensure that older people can remain independent for as long as possible and SupportLink allows us to do that with placing volunteers based on their skills and the elderly persons specific needs.

It’s through this process that volunteer Dean found his place within Enliven. Dean lives and works in Queenstown and assists Enliven as a volunteer for the elderly.

Dean’s story is unique and a true testament to how volunteering can benefit both the recipients and the volunteers. A little over 3 years ago, Dean was the victim of a random assault which left him with a serious and life changing head injury.

Since then, Dean has found it hard to get back into the swing of normal life due to his disability. During his rehabilitation at Southern Rehab, his occupational therapist told him about the opportunity to become a volunteer with Enliven. It wasn’t long before Dean got in touch and began his training with SupportLink, in order to become a visiting volunteer.

Talking to us about his involvement with Enliven, Dean stated “Volunteering with SupportLink Wakatipu has given me back a sense of purpose and made me feel like I am contributing to my community.” It’s great to see how volunteering has given Dean back his purpose, explains SupportLink Coordinator Elaine Wells. It highlights how volunteering can not only help the elderly to regain their independence, but the volunteers as well.

Dean’s role as a volunteer, is visiting the elderly person in their home, also acting as a companion and assisting with everyday tasks. “I take him out for coffee or a drive, I also make sure he has enough firewood in an accessible place.” Dean says of his elderly companion. Our volunteers are there to offer support when it is needed, without being intrusive or overbearing, a role that suits Dean perfectly.

When asked if he had any advice for anyone thinking of becoming a volunteer, Dean said, “Just do it, become involved.” “We’ve loved seeing how Dean has thrived and grown into his role as a volunteer” says Lynn Morton, Enliven Community Services Manager. “We’re so happy that Enliven has been able to provide such a pivotal opportunity for Dean and his rehabilitation”.