St John New Zealand - Community & Youth Programmes

Visitor / Companion - Caring Caller

Organisation Summary:

St John’s mission is to prevent and relieve sickness and injury, and to act to enhance health and well-being of people of all races and creeds anywhere in New Zealand.

St John is a charitable organisation with a volunteer ethos. It operates independently of Government and business, and serves communities throughout New Zealand by delivering an extensive range of services and products in the health and health-related fields. These services and products include:

  • Emergency and non-emergency ambulance services for approximately 90% of New Zealand's population.
  • Emergency care and first aid at public events
  • Friendship and support over the phone to the lonely and the housebound
  • Transport for people to their health appointments
  • Outreach Therapy Pets – visits to schools and resthomes
  • Hospital volunteers – supporting patients and their families
  • First aid training and health-related products and services to the community.
  • St John Youth programme where young New Zealanders from 6 to 18 years can learn first aid, health care, self-discipline and general life skills in their communities.


Caring Caller is a free service that St John provides for people who live alone or feel a bit lonely. Volunteers phone clients regularly to have a chat and check that everything is ok.

Partners and friends pass on. Family members don’t always live close by. Neighbours aren’t always interested in getting to know you. And if you’re unable to get out or you’re unwell, it can be hard to meet people.  While most of our clients are retired people, we also support others who are lonely.

Just having someone ask about your day can make all the difference to how you’re feeling. It’s even better if that someone shares your interests, like gardening, reading or sport. Looking forward to a good conversation can really brighten up the day.

St John’s free Caring Caller service connects people who need a friend with people who have time to listen and chat. While it’s not a helpline in any way, a Caring Caller can also notify the right people – St John – if their client is unwell or doesn’t answer.

Time Commitment:

Most Clients receive 1-2 calls per week with calls lasting between 5 -15 minutes and we would expect our Callers to have at least two clients.

To get the best match for our Callers and Clients we often match people outside their local geographic area.  Callers with the ability to call out of their local area via their toll call package or unused cellphone minutes can be matched with Clients who live anywhere in the South Island.

Located across the region - if you are interested fill in an application and we'll put you in touch with the local coordinator in Alexandra, Cromwell, Queenstown or Wanaka.

Skills Required:

The people who become callers are community-minded individuals who understand the need for care and want to make a difference to someone’s life. They have the time to make regular calls and build a friendship. They can also provide reminders that help with everyday life, like remembering to put the rubbish out or an upcoming appointment.  There’s no money involved – Caring Callers are volunteer phone friends, doing a service because their hearts are in the right place.

We provide training for people who are interested in becoming a Caring Caller. Generally, a caller will have strong communication skills, a compassionate nature and an appreciation of different cultures.

Skills Gained:

It is hoped that all volunteers, no matter how large or small their commitment to St John will feel part of the St John team and enjoy all the support, friendship and sense of team that comes with that. You will be provided with all the resources and assistance available to help you do the best job possible. Caring Callers will gain satisfaction from knowing they are helping to keep an individual safe and brightening their day.

Schedule Summary

This activity generally occurs on

  • Monday - Morning, Afternoon, Evening
  • Tuesday - Morning, Afternoon, Evening
  • Wednesday - Morning, Afternoon, Evening
  • Thursday - Morning, Afternoon, Evening
  • Friday - Morning, Afternoon, Evening
  • Saturday - Morning, Afternoon, Evening
  • Sunday - Morning, Afternoon, Evening