Napier in need of volunteers
Do you have time and skills to share? Napier’s Citizens Advice Bureau and Age Concern are looking for volunteers.
Citizens Advice Napier manager Jenny Pearce said the city’s bureau had been operating for 30 years with a team of volunteer reception and interview staff.
The organisation is open to any member of the public with a concern or in need of information, with volunteer interviewers providing answers.
Wendy Lipp has been a volunteer for 11 years with different bureaus around the country.
‘‘I love it - it’s the best volunteer job I have.’’
Lipp said the training was comprehensive and she enjoyed helping the community through the role.
When people first come through the door, or call with a query, they can be very anxious and stressed, she said.
But as a volunteer being able to help and set them at ease gave her a great feeling of satisfaction.
‘‘If I’ve helped one person on my shift it’s worth spending the morning or afternoon there.’’
She said it could be something as simple as how to spell a word because they don’t have a dictionary or how to remove a stain, up to more serious situations, such as consumer rights or a marriage break-up.
The ideal person for an interviewer role would have a passion to help people, life experience, basic computer skills, interpersonal skills, be a good team members and ideally someone who was recently retired or not looking for work.
They would need to do two shifts a week, plus a Saturday shift every 13 weeks on a rostered basis.
Napier’s Age Concern was also looking for volunteers to help support older people to remain in the community and comfortably in their own homes.
Branch manager Morag Hill said because of the range of services on offer volunteers could do many different jobs.
‘‘Our volunteers are the backbone of our organisation and we currently have a team of 52 assisting in many areas.’’
These included providing social activities, an exercise programme, light gardening and home jobs, transport to appointments, shopping trips and activities, plus the organisation’s Op Shop.