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Volunteer Centre Funding A Permanent Reminder

Volunteer Centre Funding A Permanent Reminder Of The International Year Of Volunteers

New Zealand’s six regional volunteer centres are to receive a funding boost to ensure they can capitalise on the International Year of Volunteers to build greater levels of participation in voluntary activities.

Steve Maharey said the year has been a great success with communities around the country taking up opportunities to recognise the huge contribution volunteers make to our lives. The Government wants to see the momentum of International Year of Volunteers continue in future years.

“To ensure we use the International Year of Volunteers to build greater levels of involvement by New Zealanders the Government is investing $2.19 million over the next four years to support Volunteering New Zealand and the Volunteer centre networks.

“This will support (all figures over four years):

- the six regional volunteer centres in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin to expand their networks to include more rural volunteers ($30,000 each annually);

- an additional $90,000 annually has been reserved to help with the development of new and emerging volunteer centres in the regions;

- an additional $90,000 annually to develop connections with Maori, Pacific Island and ethnic community volunteers; and,

- annual funding of $90,000 for Volunteering New Zealand, the national strategic and advocacy body for volunteering made up of autonomous and independently organised Volunteer Centres and national organisations which was established this year.

“I am impressed by just how much has been achieved in the past 12 months to mark New Zealand’s involvement in the International Year of Volunteers.

“The Ministerial Reference Group set up to guide the Year worked closely with volunteer centres nationwide to deliver some great initiatives including:

- creative promotions like milk carton labels and the specially bred “Volunteer’ Camellia which featured on a postage stamp;

- a national `conversation’ on volunteering, which included a survey of volunteers and meetings around the country to discuss volunteers; and,

- a number of local government sponsored inaugural awards recognising contributions by volunteers in their area which will be on-going annual events. A wide range of voluntary organisations also produced awards for their volunteers.

“The Lottery Grants Board made $750,000 available to community groups for training and promotional initiatives in recognition of the Year, and an additional $300,000 came through the Community Organisation Grants Scheme. (COGS).”

“Further work underway includes funding for the Ministry of Social Development to look at barriers in volunteering in government legislation and policy.

The Government is also helping to fund web-based volunteering resources, so that people can find out more about where and how to volunteer, Steve Maharey said.


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