Face of the day


The Western Bay’s Volunteer of the Year Sara Hillier-Jones of Pyes Pa. Photo / John Borren

A wonderful article from my childhood home of the sunny Bay of Plenty, that reminds us all, that giving can give us as much satisfaction as getting.

Volunteering for the IHC has given Sara Hillier-Jones a purpose in life that she lost when crippling migraine headaches forced her out of the workforce.

The 49-year-old Pyes Pa occupational therapist was declared Western Bay’s Volunteer of the Year at a special champagne breakfast.  

“It has enriched my life hugely. It has given me a purpose. I feel useful again,” she said about the work that led to her receiving the award from Volunteer Bay of Plenty manager Theo Ursum.

Mrs Hillier-Jones has contributed 250 hours of her own time to the IHC’s volunteering programme over the last two-and-a-half years.

Working with people with intellectual disabilities had brought joy to her life and immense satisfaction, she said.

The citation talked about her special skills and dedication in which she always made people feel good about themselves.
She started off with the IHC’s friendship programme in which volunteers befriend disabled people, and then moved into helping them achieve a range of skills and goals.

Mrs Hillier-Jones said working with people with intellectual disabilities reminded her to live in the moment and appreciate simple things such as a smile, a joke and a hand to hold.

“It only takes a couple of hours a week to bring a little happiness into their lives and it brings so much happiness into mine.”



– Bay of Plenty Times


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