Peer Support Volunteer Interview with Nadya Vessey - Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu | National Volunteer Week

NZALS National Volunteer Week Nadya Vessey

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

I’ve been a Volunteer basically since it started almost a year ago. A recipient is sent to me and I might visit them pre or post amputation in hospital, or at a later time in a public place like a park or a café.

Why did you want to become a Peer Support Volunteer?

I’ve been a double amputee since 7 and 16 so I have a lifelong experience and perspective to give. I have experience and knowledge and why wouldn’t I want to share it if it helps someone? I like to help people, it's in my nature.

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

Seeing people being hopeful, knowing that its not the end of their life and that there is such great technology available for them now. Some amputees really take pride in displaying their prosthesis now which is so different to when I was a child and amputees were not as known about. It’s great to get out there and give people hope that life hasn’t finished.

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

They have benefited a lot. A lot of people said I did not know who to talk to, and if they didn’t have someone with them at the centre who had been through the same thing, they didn’t know what to expect. If people have lost a limb they might not know what is possible and what they’re going to be able to do,  so if they can see you walking around and going about your life it really expands their horizon of possibilities.

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

If you want to do it, why not! Your experience is valuable and worth sharing. There will always be someone out there that you can be an example for.