Volunteers are busy people
More than one quarter of South Islanders are giving their time as volunteers and it does not seem to matter how busy they are.
Volunteering Central senior project co-ordinator Gillian White said despite people seemingly getting busier, it didn’t necessarily affect levels of volunteers.
‘‘When I talk to people I ask why they do it. It seems to be that if that have a passion for something they will make it a priority...It’s a cliche but busy people are often the ones volunteering.’’
Surprisingly, the largest group of volunteers on the Volunteering Central data base were fully employed people, aged between 25 and 34 - ‘‘particularly in Queenstown and Wanaka we see a lot of the transient population coming through and volunteering.’’
‘‘Our four hubs (Queenstown, Wanaka, Cromwell and Alexandra) are very different but all have people who have made a conscious decision to live here. They believe in the community and want to contribute to it.‘‘
People also listed meeting people and giving something back to the community as reasons for being volunteers.
‘‘Overall they get some sense of satisfaction from what they’re doing.’’
As part of the 2018 National Volunteer Week celebrations, from June 17 to 23, the Volunteer Central team have arranged for community leaders to become involved with volunteering in local organisations.
They have included Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult volunteering for Sustainable Queenstown and Annabel Langbein with Food For Love.
Others to participate will include: Karen Boult, with Wakatipu Senior Citizens; Dougal Allan, with Wanaka Parkrun; Calum MacLeod, with Aspiring Enliven; Zoi Sadowski-Synnot, with Wanaka Girl Guides, Cromwell Community Board; Tim Cadogan, with Living Options and Affleck OMeara, with Alexandra Scouts.
Volunteering Central would love to see other members of the community sign up or do something simple like pick up litter, spend time with an elderly neighbour or approach a local community group or organisation and offer a hand or attend a meeting.
Annabel Langbein with Rebecca Sarginson and Louise Carney.