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Minister encourages Kiwis to 'put your hand up'

Minister encourages Kiwis to 'put your hand up'

March 12-18 is Volunteer Awareness Week

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March 12 - 18 is Volunteer Awareness Week and Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Luamanuvao Winnie Laban is encouraging Kiwis to thank volunteers and also to put their hand up to help their communities.

"Volunteering is an essential element of our civil society. Our communities depend and rely on the efforts of our volunteers," Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said.

"This week we celebrate and acknowledge the excellent work that volunteers undertake. Volunteering is a key part of the way that Kiwis live life, and our volunteers contribute to our sense of wellbeing and national identity.

"Volunteers provide so many vital services to support our communities, both individually and in organisations working on specific issues or with particular population groups such as young people, older people or people with disabilities."

More than one million New Zealanders are actively involved in regular volunteer work in their communities: from sports, recreation, arts, culture and heritage, to emergency and social services, health, education, conservation and the environment.

"This government is serious about supporting the voluntary sector and adopted a formal policy on volunteering in 2002. Our vision is for a society that has a high level of volunteering, where the many contributions that people make are actively supported and valued," Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said.

"Volunteering is a gift that our society relies on, but one we all can give. If you're ready to put your hand up, contact your local Volunteer Centre on 0800 865 268 or visit www.volunteernow.org.nz," Luamanuvao Winnie Laban said.

ENDS

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