Vol­un­teers to be recog­nised

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By STEVE EDWARDS

Un­sung heroes of com­mu­nity groups will be for­mally recog­nised next week.

Vol­un­teer­ing Waikato is stag­ing its an­nual Vol­un­teer Ex­cel­lence Awards on June 21 in The Atrium at Win­tec.

Gen­eral man­ager Heather Moore said this year the awards will be at­tended by 250 guests, in­clud­ing Jo Good­hew, Min­is­ter for the Com­mu­nity and Vol­un­tary Sec­tor; MPs Tim Macin­doe, David Ben­nett and Sue Moroney; Hamil­ton Mayor Julie Har­daker; Otoro­hanga Mayor Dale Wil­liams; Hamil­ton City Coun­cil­lors and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions around the re­gion.

The Vol­un­teer Ex­cel­lence Awards were first held in Waikato in 1994 and have pretty much been an an­nual event ever since, Ms Moore said.

Any com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tion in the re­gion can nom­i­nate for the in­di­vid­ual award, youth award, or the team ex­cel­lence award.

Vol­un­teer­ing Waikato was founded in July 1993 as the Hamil­ton Vol­un­teer Cen­tre Trust. Mem­ber­ship in­cludes more than 245 reg­is­tered not- for- profit or­gan­i­sa­tions.

More than 2400 in­di­vid­ual vol­un­teers came through the cen­tre last year, who were re­ferred to more than 3000 vol­un­teer­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties.

‘‘It was our busiest year ever,’’ Ms Moore said.

‘‘ You en­rich lives and com­mu­ni­ties through vol­un­teer­ing,’’ she said. ‘‘Our main fo­cus is match­ing the in­ter­ests and skills of peo­ple who wish to vol­un­teer with jobs in the com­mu­nity.’’

Vol­un­teer­ing Waikato av­er­ages 210 avail­able vol­un­tary po­si­tions on its books at any one time.

Since open­ing it has re­ferred over 24,000 vol­un­teers.

vol­un­teer­ing­waikato. org .nz.

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