Column: Volunteer Week 2015

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Kia ora tatou

“There is a place for you to volunteer”. That’s the theme of this year’s Volunteer Week, and it’s very true.

Our communities are strengthened and enriched by people who give up their own time to help out causes they believe in. These volunteers are often unsung heroes, and all too often their achievements fly under the radar.

Volunteer week is one of the ways we acknowledge them. It is also an opportunity to talk about the benefits of volunteering. Not just the benefits to our communities, but the benefits of being a volunteer.

I can tell you from my own experience that volunteering can be very rewarding. Through volunteering I have made new friends, gained skills, and had some great experiences. If you find something you believe in and are passionate about, it feels more like fun than work.

Whether you support a national or international charity, a local community group, or your kids’ sports club, volunteering lets you make a big difference to people’s lives.

As a List MP based in the Port Hills, I am proud that we have 7,500 volunteers in our electorate. I am lucky that my job has given me the opportunity to meet and work with many of them. I have been impressed by their passion, commitment and vision for how to make their communities better.

Volunteer Week runs from 21 – 27 June. Sometime this week, take the chance to thank the volunteers who make so many programmes and services possible.

And if you find yourself with some spare time, or you want to gain some new skills, friends and experiences, contact Volunteering Canterbury through their website, www.volcan.org.nz.

Just remember, no matter what your age, skills or experience, “There is a place for you to volunteer”.

Mauriora.