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Saying Thanks To Volunteers

Media Release ­

Saying Thanks To Volunteers

One third of all people in Nelson and Tasman undertook some type of volunteer work last year, providing three million hours of voluntary work.

“That is a huge amount of time and effort,” says Katy Steele, Manager of Volunteer Nelson. “Clearly without volunteers many community organisations would struggle to function well, if at all.”

December 5 is International Volunteers’ Day and Katy would like the community to celebrate by recognising their volunteers.

“We’d like to see organisations maybe providing a special morning tea, or a certificate of service, or people might simply say thanks to a neighbour who has helped them out,” she says. “It’s a day when we can cherish and value our volunteers and say ‘well done’.”

Volunteer Nelson works to recruit volunteers, to match them with appropriate jobs, and to support organisations who employ volunteers. They are always keen to hear from people who want to help an organisation for a few hours a week.

Katy says there is a real lack of information about trends in volunteering in the region.

“The very fact that we don’t have reliable research on this ‘social capital’ shows that we place little value on it as a community,” she says. “Volunteering clearly has a very positive impact on GDP, and also provides a level of community connectedness that cannot be guaranteed in the future if New Zealand follows trends from other countries.”

On November 28 Volunteer Nelson is hosting a workshop for volunteer managers. Claire Teal from Volunteer New Zealand will help participants identify issues that affect them in their organisation. This will lead to a regional action plan beingdeveloped to improve the experience of volunteers and the quality of their management. Anyone interested in attending should contact katy@volunteernelson.org.nz


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