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Volunteering floats Dale’s boat

Dale Spurdle has been volunteering for the Cancer Society in Taranaki for 15 years and was one of the first volunteers to walk through the door of the New Plymouth Centre offices when the centre on Lorna Street opened in 2009.

“My daughter used to live across the road from where the Cancer Society offices are now and I was visiting her quite often. I kept watching this building go up and somehow I knew it was going to play some part in my life, but I didn’t know what it was and had no idea until the signs went up. When it was all finished, I went in and offered my time.”

Dale, a trained Reiki master, offers weekly one-on-one reiki sessions each Wednesday at the centre for clients and their whānau.  She also volunteers each year at Daffodil Day and Relay for Life, at which she offers reiki for participants and spectators as a fundraiser. She said it is difficult to explain reiki and it is best experienced.

“Reiki is about energy healing. Every person gets something different out of it and they find every treatment they get is different as well. I’ve heard some of the girls say: ‘if nothing else you’ll have a whole hour of relaxation’.”

People get three free one-hour appointments with Dale and then, if they wish to have more sessions, they can do so for a koha/donation to the Cancer Society. 

Dale says she gets so much out of volunteering and describes her volunteer work as a “privilege”.

“It is the privilege of being with these people on their journey. If I have terminal patients and they are finding it really helpful I will see them right through to the end. Believe me that is a privilege to be part of that and for them to want me to be part of that. Every year I think is this the last year and it comes to the end of the year, and I can’t.  It’s part of my life and it’s what I really enjoy. It floats my boat.”

The Cancer Society wishes to take the opportunity this National Volunteer Week to thank all the amazing volunteers who, just like Dale, give their time, energy and enthusiasm to support its work. If you’re keen to find out more about how you can get involved in volunteering with the Cancer Society head to