Peer Support Volunteer Interview with Kathy Palmer - Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu | National Volunteer Week

NZALS National Volunteer Week Kathy Palmer

How long have you been a Peer Support Volunteer and what does your role as a volunteer include?

Not quite 12 months. Includes talking with new amputees and having phone conversations.

Why did you want to become a Peer Support Volunteer?

I had my own amputation about 5 years ago. I felt isolated from other amputees and I didn’t know how to make contact with them. When the chance came up to become a Peer Support Volunteer, it was something I wanted do.

What is the most rewarding experience you've had as a Peer Support Volunteer?

Overall, the people that I talk to, I have been able to give them proper information about what it is like living your life as an amputee and I have been able to answer their questions.  We seem have a mutual understanding of each other.

How do you think amputees have benefited the most from receiving peer support?

I hope that they know that someone else is out there that understands some of what they are going through. Everyone’s personal situation is different.

If you had any advice for people thinking about becoming a peer support volunteer, what would it be?

It is important to see things from other people’s perspective and be aware of ethnic and social differences between people. It is really important to listen to the person and what information they are wanting. It is all about them and not about you.