Callum Foothead, knew he wanted to give back to the community, but he wasn’t quite sure which cause was the right fit for him. Luckily for us, a friend of his suggested he look into RMHC® New Zealand, and he realized he was a perfect fit.
“I hadn’t had any experiences with their services at all, but I had a close friend who had,” says Callum. “Hearing from him about his experience, I realised it was a really important cause.”
He contacted the team at Ronald McDonald House Wellington, and soon enough, he realized just how important his volunteering would be.
“What would these families do if RMHC NZ wasn’t there? If Ronald McDonald House wasn’t here, what would parents do during this time? It wouldn’t be a good time for anyone, and then they’d be stressed out on top of everything else they’re already going through. It’s good to get in and help out.”
Initially Callum spent his volunteering hours between housekeeping – changing beds, doing laundry, making up rooms – and occasionally supporting the front of house staff on reception.
Although meeting the incoming families and being there to listen on tough days was what he loved most. He found that working in the Ronald McDonald Family Room® - in the main building of the Wellington Regional Hospital, only minutes away from the Paediatric Ward - was where he felt the most useful.
“I like making an impact and helping families out at stressful times. That’s what I do looking after families in the Family Room – welcoming parents, asking them if they need any help.”
He works on his own quite often caring for some of our most vulnerable families as many of the caregivers and siblings who visit the Family Room have a family member in a critical condition. “I get to know the families pretty well. I get to build up relationships with them and see that I’m making a difference. Once, I had a person arrive in complete distress and really upset, but when she left, she wasn’t anymore – so seeing that difference is important to me.”
When he first started, he was a little closed off, but since completing over 1,000 volunteer hours, he feels like he’s really opened up and loves connecting with families.
Congratulations on your milestone achievement of volunteer hours, Callum. We’re thrilled to have you on our team.
Do you want to be a volunteer like Callum? Visit https://rmhc.org.nz/support/volunteer/.