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Volunteering their stories

Volunteering their stories

Wonderful friendships, interesting conversations and a sense of achievement and are some of the stories that emerge in a new local book on voluntary work.

'Our people their stories' is a book profiling 27 volunteers, compiled and written by Sara McIntyre while she was on placement at Volunteer Nelson, as part of her degree in social work.

Sara says she was moved by the number of people who give so much of their time to community groups in Nelson.

"I met some wonderful people and it's inspiring to see how much work is done voluntarily," Sara says. "People like Jack Fearn, who gardens for the Keep Richmond Beautiful Trust - he is in his late seventies and when I met up with him he was in a thick patch of flax breaking up the plants and transplanting them. Jack reckons he took up gardening work to stop his wife from telling him off!"

Sara completed the project in just seven weeks and says selecting just 27 volunteers out of the hundreds that give their time to community organisations was one of the hardest decisions she had to make.

"Everyone knows the big organisations, like St Johns, so I tried to choose the lesser known workers - like Nick and Colin who cook the meals at Loaves and Fishes three days a week."

Sara says she wanted the book to show that volunteers come from all ages and walks of life: "Shane Casbolt is good example, he's a young person who juggles four voluntary jobs around his school life. Shane can be called out anytime with St John, the Fire Service or Search and Rescue, so it's lucky his school is supportive of his volunteer work."

Our people their stories' will be launched on 5 December, International Volunteer Day, at 6pm at Café De Ville in New Street (formerly Kaffeine).

International Volunteer Day acknowledges the many people who generously contribute their time, skills and credentials in a broad range of voluntary organisations to create better communities.

'Our people their stories' will be available for $15 from Volunteer Nelson, and copies will be held at the district libraries and WINZ. Volunteer Nelson received support and donations for the book project from Waimea Contract Carriers Ltd, Goldpine and the Pelorus Trust.


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