Sprinkling a little aroha (love) into the lives of hospital patients, whānau and people living in rest homes.

Our volunteers give care, support and a friendly face to people while they're in hospital, rest homes or other healthcare facilities.

We have over 800 volunteers for Friends of the Emergency Department (FED), Hospital Friends, Hospital Hosts and Community Carers. Together, we aim for better health and wellbeing for everyone.

St John hopsital carer talking with patient at their bedside

How we help

Friends of the Emergency Department (FED)
In the busy emergency department of a hospital, a friendly, calm face can be comforting. Our volunteers are there to listen, give information and provide support to patients and their whānau.

Hospital Friend
For patients that stay in hospital for a long time, seeing a familiar face and having someone to chat to, or read and play games with can make their time in hospital more enjoyable.

Hospital Host
Our hosts offer a warm welcome in the busy foyer of a hospital – they give directions or take people to their appointments.

Community Carer
Our carers visit people in rest homes, to provide support and a helping hand. They're there for a friendly chat, to read, help with the groceries, or perhaps just a gentle walk.

Want to know more?

Please email us if you would like to know more about our Hospital Services and Community Carers programmes or how to get volunteers involved at your facility.


Make a difference as a volunteer

Our volunteers will tell you there are lots of benefits to getting involved, such as:

  • The chance to learn something new
  • Know that you've made a difference
  • Being a part of something and feeling valued
  • Making others smile!

 Apply to volunteer with us

About being a FED

Two of our FEDs explain how they started and how they help in hospitals.


Pawan talks about his time as a FED

One of our FEDs explains his role volunteering with us.

Interview on Radio New Zealand (RNZ) about FED

Kate Hargraves talks about her experiences volunteering at Auckland Hospital.


How much time do I need?

We ask volunteers to work a four-hour shift once a week, or fortnight. The shift times change between hospitals and care facilities.

We ask you to do a minimum of 12 months for any volunteering role. If this is not possible, we understand and are open to talk about it.

What experience do I need to volunteer?

There's no experience needed to become a volunteer. We'll give you the training you need, and have a current volunteer work with you for a few weeks, so you can ask questions and learn the job.

These qualities are important:

  • A friendly and caring nature
  • An interest in the wellbeing of others, including sensitivity to those who are sick, elderly, or from different cultures
  • Language skills, in particular Māori, Pasifika, Indian and Chinese
  • Great communication and listening skills
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