Napier in need of vol­un­teers

The Napier Mail - - FRONT PAGE - ME­GAN HUNT

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.

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