“Volunteering is something that we just do well!” Glenda Martin, Volunteering Canterbury’s Outreach and Marketing Manager says. “What makes it even more awesome is that we don’t just turn up when the chips are down. Volunteering Canterbury is proud of the way that our region’s people get out in the community and volunteer in the bad times – and the not-so-bad! We see it every day in every sector across the community.”
This year Volunteering Canterbury will host a Volunteer Recognition event which will see twenty-one individuals and three groups receive awards as recognition of the time they gift to their communities. The event will take place at the Civic Offices on Monday 19th June at 2pm – starting off a week of events nationwide as part of National Volunteer Week 2017. “Things that happen often behind the scenes … keeping wheels turning in organisations providing services in the community … put simply, services that would not be available to those who need them without a significant contribution from volunteers.”
Volunteering with one of Volunteering Canterbury’s member organisations is just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of volunteering happening in the region, Martin says. Even so, it equates to the equivalent of 149 fulltime volunteers in the community on any given day of the year. And, using the minimum wage as a base rate, a monetarised contribution to the region of approximately $4.7m. ‘It’s what it looks like at the other end” says Martin, “the actual impact of the volunteering, that makes our work so humbling. Volunteers in Volunteering Canterbury member organisations last year impacted on 36,000 people in the region.” Humbling, too, is the receiving of nominees for Volunteer Recognition Awards. “We have been overwhelmed with the response this year – and wish there were resources to recognise every volunteer” Martin says. This year’s Volunteer Recognition event will be opened by the Haeata Community Campus Kapahaka group and the Awards themselves will be presented by the Guest Speaker for the occasion, News Anchor, Mike McRoberts.