St John New Zealand - Community & Youth Programmes

Visitor / Companion - Hospital Friends

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.


St John Hospital Friends in based at Lakes District Hospital


Hospital Friends provide comfort and support to patients and their families both in the emergency department and the ward.


In times of distress, people need more than treatment, they also need information and support. Because hospitals are often busy, staff do not always have time to give patients and their families the support and reassurance they’re looking for. That’s where St John Hospital Friends can make a difference.


Some of the tasks they carry out are:

  • sitting with, listening to and talking with patients
  • assisting relatives and supporting then if required
  • finding the likes of a magazines or a telephone
  • helping out with delivery of meals and cups of tea
  • offering a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold
  • above all being a friend


Time Commitment:

4 hours per week or fortnight

Located in Queenstown - if you are interested fill in an application and we'll put you in touch with the local coordinator.

Skills Required:

People who become Hospital Friends are community-minded individuals who understand the need for care and want to make a difference to someone’s life.

We provide training for people who are interested in becoming a volunteer. Generally, a Hospital Friend volunteer 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. Hospital Friend volunteers will gain satisfaction from knowing they are helping people in their local community.


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