Friendship Service

What is the Friendship Service all about?

“A Friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be” – Douglas Pagels

The Friendship Service was created through the Ministry of Health after the closure of the Kimberley Centre in 2006. It is a service for the ex-residents of the centre with the aim of enhancing social and lesuire opportunities and to promote inclusion into the community. The services covers friendships in Manawatu, Horowhenua, and Kapiti.

Volunteers are matched with a person from the service according to interests and hobbies.

Everyone needs a purpose and role in their lives and here at the Friendship Service, we thrive on people feeling valued, seen and heard. The character of the Friendship Service is energetic, fun and caring, but can also be quiet and slower paced for the people who prefer this. The Service is person-centered and is all about a person’s individual wishes and aspirations. Friendships are amongst the most key factors influencing a person’s quality of life and plays an integral role of enhancing and enriching it too.

Having a reliable, trustworthy and caring friend will increase a person’s sense of belonging, promote social inclusion and offer new opportunities.  Having a friend to walk alongside you and share your enjoyment with you, makes it more fun and meaningful. Participating in an activity or visiting a place of interest is your choice and it’s our goal to ensure that you achieve this.

A friend can celebrate the good times with you and be there to support you when you’re feeling a bit down or sad. Friendships give us confidence and increase our sense of belonging. Connections and relationships give us purpose, boosts happiness and can help to reduce stress. Laughing and smiling is one of the World’s best antidotes and here at the MASH Trust Friendship Service, we ensure that you will be participating in this when you spend quality time with your friend.

Image of Friends Laughing together


Our coordinator is also there to support, if and when needed. Attributes that we look for in our volunteers are:

Image of Volunteers Holding hands
  • Caring
  • Patient
  • A sense of humour
  • Empathic
  • Empowering
  • Motivated
  • Committed
  • Reliable
  • Non-judgemental
  • Fun
  • Honest
  • Trustworthy
  • Encouraging


We will meet with you, your family/whanau or a person whom you wish to support you, like a connector. You will then be given the opportunity to tell us what your interests, hobbies, aspirations are, so we can find/assign you a person who we feel you will have a connection with, so a friendship will flourish, and you can look forward to sharing and creating many fun, happy memories together. Some examples are:

  • Go to a café and enjoy socializing over a cup of coffee and a treat to eat
  • Enjoy a walk along the beach a park or a place that means something to you
  • Let your mind and creativity shine through – get involved with arts and crafts.
  • Participate in special occasions such as birthdays
  • Engage in entertaining activities such as movies or going to a sports game

To explore becoming a volunteer, please contact:

  • Go for a spa
  • Let’s not overlook the small things – maybe you just want someone to be there, talk with you and make you feel valued and special.
Image of Friends at Vivs Kitchen