Peer Support Volunteer Interview with Brendon Kete - Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu | National Volunteer Week

NZALS National Volunteer Week Brendon Kete

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

I have been a Peer Support Volunteer since November 2020. It involves supporting amputees via phone support and meeting with them. You need to listen to their concerns. I often give them personal advice of what I went through. I try to get them to ask questions so I can give the appropriate answers.

Why did you want to become a Peer Support Volunteer?

I have been supporting people for 20 years. Every time I see an amputee in the street I ask them how they are coping and if they are being supported. I had no support when I lost my limb. The only support I got at the time was through the limb centre, which was great support.

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

Seeing a smile break in the individuals face and the person opening up and asking questions. Sometimes it takes a while for them to open up.

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

I think it helps them open up and to think it’s not a disability. You can do what you want to do, it’s up to you.

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

Be good listeners. You have to listen and try to develop open ended questions. Sometimes it can 2 or 3 phone to get them to open up. Give them plenty of time to respond and have a good sense of humour.