Peer Support Volunteer Interview with Colleen Mundt - Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu | National Volunteer Week

NZALS National Volunteer Week Colleen Mundt

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 for 6 months and I have been a volunteer with the Taranaki Amputee Society for 14 years. I talk with people and give them support. I deal with new amputees and get to know them and inform them with information about being an amputee."

Why did you want to become a Peer Support Volunteer?

"For 21 years I have been a single amputee and a bilateral amputee for eight years. When I first became an amputee, I was completely left in the dark. I went to Wellington Limb Centre and I thought I was going to come out with a leg that day. I waited three weeks for a test socket to be made and a couple more weeks after that, I received my leg. As I have been through the system and have had experience of supporting amputees, I want to support people and this is why I wanted to come a Peer Support Volunteer."

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

"The most rewarding experience I have had is ringing people and being able to answer their questions. It is really rewarding helping them on their journey and to hear they are standing again."

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

"They have benefited by talking with another amputee who has been through the process and have come out the other side."

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

"It’s important that you listen to the person first. You need to get their feelings of where things are at with them and try to answer every question they have as best you can. Every one’s illness is different, and every person is different."