10 June 2024

Meet St Andrews volunteer Ryan Wonfor

This week we are thanking our volunteers who gift their time and energy to strengthen the fabric of the community!

Meet volunteer Ryan Wonfor. Ryan has been giving his time to St Andrews care home in Dunedin, helping all around the care home from dementia care to the laundry!

Ryan Wondor - credit Kea Photos NZ

Ryan is spending his second winter Down Under, playing ice hockey for the Dunedin Thunder during the northern hemisphere summer. Originally from Mississauga, Canada, Ryan has played hockey all over the globe. He and his girlfriend fell for the charm and wilds of Dunedin which lured him back for a second winter season in the city. 

How did you get involved?

I reached out to the volunteer programme coordinator, Jasmin, to explore volunteering options.

Ryan has a Bachelor of Science and was looking to gain experience in a care setting that would count towards his Medical School studies in the coming year.

What do you enjoy about volunteering?

It’s nice to feel responsible for someone other than myself. I enjoy talking to the residents and joining them for activities. 

The men’s group have great conversations! Now they follow the ice hockey, reading about the games in the newspaper.

I spend time in the dementia unit. It’s nice to get outside in the garden with the residents on a sunny day. I’m starstruck by the staff, Judy is amazing with the residents.

What benefits do volunteers provide?

In dementia care, volunteers provide more one-on-one time to go into a deeper conversation, building long term connections. When I become a Doctor, I would like to volunteer as it’s really fulfilling, providing a different connection.

What will you do at the end of the winter?

I am busy preparing for my medical school entrance exam, I would like to study in the UK. Before then I will do one more professional season, in France, I’d like to be emersed in the language.

What staff have to say about Ryan.

“We would love to clone Ryan” – Rest Home Manager, Angela.

“He is wonderful with the residents! He has a massive input and the residents respond to him. He is open, warm, gentle, attentive, and willing to go above and beyond. Ryan is a really exceptional person” - Volunteer Coordinator, Sue.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering visit our volunteering pages for current vacancies.