Giving time shows elders they matter





“Right now, rest home volunteers are more important than ever before.” This from Enliven general manager Nicola Turner. “We are very grateful to have such amazing volunteers of all ages who bring a special something to our homes.” Enliven is part of the not-for-profit organisation Presbyterian Support Central. In Manawatu, Enliven operates Coombrae Home and Village, Willard Home and Brightwater Home and Village. “Enliven homes offer a holistic and resident-directed model of care to which volunteers have always played an important role,” says Nicola. “Volunteers give so much more than just time. They become friends and supporters; they bring diversity, spontaneity and excitement to our rest homes and day programmes.” As staff shortages continue to bite across the aged care sector, volunteers are more important than ever before. “Rest homes are managing staff shortages, but Covid-19 has had other impacts like the need to RAT [rapid antigen test] people before they come into the home. “Having volunteers to help with this testing means staff are not taking away from caring for elders,” explains Nicola. But that’s not the only volunteer role Enliven homes have on offer. Some volunteers help with recreation activities such as the men’s shed, art and craft or interest groups, while others provide entertainment like playing the piano. “They might help with some gardening or admin jobs, support residents to use technology like video calling to keep in touch with families, or spend one-on-one time with a resident,” says Nicola. “What we really need right now are volunteers who are willing to offer regular days and times for their volunteering so we can factor that support into our planning.” There is no age limit for people who want to donate their time to Enliven, however like staff, all volunteers must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Coombrae Home and Village are located in Feilding, while Willard Home and Brightwater Home and Village are in Palmerston North. To find out more about the homes and volunteering, visit or email