1. Home
  2. Life at Bupa
  3. Never-give-up Nathalie Norris

Never give-up Nathalie Norris

Date: 21 Jun 2024

Celebrating National Volunteer Week with the story of a determined woman and long-time volunteer at Bupa Fergusson.

Caring in aged care

On 22 September 2023, Nathalie Norris served her 4,380th meal to residents at Bupa's Fergusson Care Home. 12 years ago she decided she was going to devote time to giving meals to those who needed assistance at the home. 

Meant to be

But her story does not start there. She grew up on a farm outside Feilding, learning The Ten Commandments and being punished for being left-handed. Though her teachers gave her grief she sought comfort in her friends, visiting them on horseback.

On 16 May 1956, Nathalie begun her 52-year nursing career. This saw her move to Hastings and back to Wellington, where she met the love of her life. After 72 hours of meeting Pat at a party, they decided they were meant to be. Pat gifted Nathalie her first ever bike, complete with a big red bow, and they made it through thick and thin for the better part of 50 years.

Defying the odds

On 30 March 2006, when Nathalie decided she would take her bike into town, she would never have dreamt what would happen next.

Near the roundabout at the end of Main Street, a bus driver saw a seemingly healthy woman go down on her bike. It turned out to be a severe brain haemorrhage that would see Nathalie unconscious for more than two weeks. Her family was informed by the medical team that she would never walk, talk, be able to care for or feed herself again.

Little did they know that Nathalie does not give up. Fully rehabilitated and determined as ever, she entered her new apartment at Bupa’s Fergusson Retirement Village on 24 August 2006, which Pat had organised for them.

Devotion to serve

In 2011, it was decided that Pat needed to move over to the care home. Nathalie came every day to continue caring for her husband, helping him with his meals, his care and even doing his washing for him. She never gave up.

When Pat passed in September 2011, Nathalie says she was eager to give back.

“I was so grateful to Fergusson Care Home for the care they gave my husband. In the time before he died, I saw how many residents needed assistance eating and knew it was something I could do to help the team and residents.”

In 2023, Nathalie reluctantly decided the time had come to give up her volunteer work, but remains part of the Bupa family at Fergusson Retirement Village.

National Volunteer Week

It’s National Volunteer Week and we celebrate the collective contribution of the many volunteers like Nathalie who enrich Aotearoa New Zealand.

The team at Fergusson Care Home have this message for Nathalie, “Thank you Nathalie. We are so grateful for the care and affection you showed our residents. You are a true testament to the service of a caregiver. May you enjoy your days without a worry in the world.”

Careers Bupa

Bupa Careers

Our people, our residents and our community are all at the heart of Bupa. Explore why you should work for us, and find your next job now.

Find a career
Care Home

Bupa Fergusson Care Home

Located in central Upper Hutt, Fergusson is just a short stroll away from Upper Hutt City.

View Care Home

Life at Bupa