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Volunteer Spotlight: Elizabeth Ineson

Elizabeth Ineson has been volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House in Christchurch for the past 16 years. She shares her experience.


I was in a ‘frock shop’ one day when I overheard a conversation. The two women were talking about Ronald McDonald House, which had opened here in Christchurch. It sounded pretty
amazing, so I confessed I’d been listening and asked them to tell me more. They made it sound so interesting that I decided to stop by and see what I could do to help.
I came into the House and met some of the staff and other volunteers, and heard all about what care and comfort the House provided families when their child was in a hospital in Christchurch. That was 16 years ago!

Back then we did the washing, ironing and a whole bunch of things that these days are outsourced to amazing sponsors. I now volunteer on a Wednesday morning in the Front of House team. It’s a happy house and I can honestly say it’s so enjoyable to be there!

Despite our differences, we are all human beings and so when hard things happen like a child getting ill, it’s so important to lighten the burden and try to make life easier for these families.
I love watching the friendships form between the children in the house. Children are just being children, they aren’t worrying about what’s wrong, they focus on what’s right and what makes them happy. I’m always blown away by the generosity of people involved with this place; from doing up vases of flowers for the dining room tables to dropping off presents, baking, hand-knitted clothing for premature babies, or even Easter eggs. It’s given freely without any credit required.

Most of the volunteers are constant, so you get to know people pretty well. They are your team and we have a jolly good time working at the House together, and then catching up with the wider volunteer network at our Annual Volunteer Breakfast at the Rydges Hotel.

To quote the lyric’s of the Eagle’s, “I get that peaceful, easy feeling when I’m here”. That’s what keeps me coming back.


We are looking for volunteers for the Ronald McDonald Family Room in Southland Hospital. If you are interested, please email Helen at [email protected]


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