Thursday, December 4, 2008

World Vision thanks its many volunteers

On International Volunteer Day, World Vision would like to thank the hundreds of New Zealanders who give their time, talent and energy to bring hope to thousands of children, families and communities living in extreme poverty overseas.

World Vision's National Volunteers Manager, John Currie, says the organisation values its dedicated volunteers and appreciates the wonderful contribution they make year after year.

"Our volunteers come from all over New Zealand, from different walks of life, offering a range of skills and capacities to serve. They give valuable support to many programmes and without them, we wouldn't be nearly as effective," says John.

World Vision volunteers range from professionals who want to contribute their skills and expertise, to teenagers, wanting to do something meaningful with their spare time and retirees with a passion to change lives. There are also a large number of families who regularly volunteer at events and activities throughout the year. John says it is a common misconception that you need a lot of free time to volunteer.

For Auckland teenagers, Ben Goodger and Daniel Cullam, the decision to volunteer for World Vision was fuelled by a desire to do something significant for a cause that would benefit others. They started the "The One Year T-shirt Challenge", wearing printed t-shirts for a year to raise money for rainwater tanks in Nshamba, Tanzania. So far, they have raised over $3000 and have recruited eight team members to join them in 2009.

Long-time volunteer, Bryan Mayall from Hamilton collects donation boxes and supports the 40 Hour Famine each year. Twenty years on, the generosity of Kiwis continues to amaze him, knowing the difference that their contribution will make in fighting extreme poverty.

Having a strong network of volunteers in New Zealand enables World Vision to send over 75% of funds raised to aid and development projects overseas.

John encourages people to look on the World Vision website, if they are interested finding ways to become involved.

Volunteering Market Day very successful

More than 50 people including potential new volunteers attended the Volunteering Market Day at Volunteer Wellington. Volunteering NZ co-hosted with Volunteer Wellington and participated with a stall demonstrating its work and some of its resources.

Other stalls demonstrated different aspects of Volunteer Wellington's work and services including the volunteer interview process, the employee volunteering programme, administration, promotion and advocacy and training and other services.

Wellington Deputy Mayor, Ian McKinnon, opened the event and those attending came from a wide range of community agencies, corporate members and government departments as well as current and potential volunteers.

A special feature was a quiz where the answers could be found at the 'stalls' to be visited. All correct entries received a prize.

BBQ lunch for New Plymouth Volunteers

Over 200 volunteers from round New Plymouth will be hosted at a special barbecue lunch on International Volunteer Day. They will be served by the Mayor, Peter Tennant and community and sporting celebrities.

The Waitara Savage Club will provide the entertainment.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Celebrating International Volunteer Day, the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council acknowledged the vital contribution its more than 1,400 volunteer instructors make to the outdoor recreation sector.

Chief Executive Darryl Carpenter said that the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council was fortunate to have the support of a large pool of dedicated, well trained volunteer instructors to deliver the outdoor safety message into their local communities.

“We would like to thank the many Kiwi volunteers who willingly give their time to enable others to enjoy the outdoors safely – from youth leaders, teachers, instructors to local tramping guides. Without a doubt, many people, particularly young people, would not have had the opportunities to enjoy the outdoors if it had not been for the dedication and willingness of volunteers to share their knowledge and experience. Volunteers play a vital role in giving the skills and resources people need to participate safely outdoors.

“Earlier this year, we were proud to establish the Mountain Safety Council Outdoor Excellence Volunteer Award to recognise the contribution of volunteers to safe outdoor recreation.

“The inaugural recipient Angela Anderson was given the award for her outstanding contribution to girl guiding in the Auckland region. Angela is a terrific example of the many volunteers who regularly donate their time and energy to their community and give people positive experiences of the outdoors. Volunteering is incredibly rewarding experience. We encourage those with skills and passion to take the opportunity to pass on their love of the outdoors to someone else.

“The Council supports volunteers by providing training, advice and resources. It has a major role in training outdoor leaders from other organisations so they are furnished with the skills and knowledge to safely lead outdoor activities.

“Providing volunteers with the opportunities to safely participate in the outdoors and to lead thers is one way the Council is supporting the community and working towards safer participation in the outdoors,” said Mr Carpenter.

To become a Mountain Safety Council volunteer, contact your local Mountain Safety Council branch or contact Jane Hoedemaeckers. Contact details for branch offices and information on outdoor safety can be found on the Council’s website .

Honour to Trish Hanlen

One of the Bay of Plenty’s most well known and respected members of the social work and teaching fraternities and champion of voluntary workers, Trish Hanlen, was awarded the NZ Order of Merit in June this year when the Queen’s Birthday Honours were bestowed.

Trish’s list of community service and achievements in the governance, management, leadership and advisory roles as well as the “hands on” work spans from1983 and includes serving in communities of Tokoroa, Invercargill, Rotorua and Tauranga.

The true spirit of contributing to community is researching and identifying the needs of the community, enlisting the necessary resources, implementing and helping initiate new projects or changes, then handing over to able successors. Trish Hanlen has given to her communities in this spirit and her altruistic, outstanding services have not gone unnoticed. The honour conferred on her is richly deserved.

RNZFB thanks its volunteers

Today the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind would like to acknowledge its thousands of volunteers who support our cause in so many ways, through volunteer driving, puppy walking, narrating talking books and helping our members with daily tasks. Thank you for making a difference!

Alison Marshall
National Manager Volunteer Services / Locality Co-ordinator
Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind
Te Tuāpāpā o te Hunga Kāpō o Aotearoa

Meet our Dunedin Stars

THE stars were out last night, as about 150 people gathered to celebrate Dunedin’s unsung heroes in an awards ceremony hosted by The Star at the Dunedin Railway Station.
Wax Preston, Emma Rosevear, Netta Noone, Felicity Prescott, Sharon McKenzie and Cory Sutherland were named ‘‘Dunedin Stars’’ for 2008 in The Star’s fourth annual awards celebrating our city’s volunteers.
The awards evening at Scotia Restaurant in the Dunedin railway station was attended by nominees, their nominators, Allied Press management, Star staff and invited guests.
Star editor Helen Speirs, Dunedin Deputy Mayor Syd Brown and, via a pre-recorded video, new Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Tariana Turia addressed the audience at the event, held in the week of International Volunteer Day, December 5.
For the full story and pictures, click on the heading "Meet our Dunedin Stars".
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