On Sunday 5 May 2019, we held our first ever Family Volunteering Day! And what success it was! A total of 38 adults and children got stuck in at Charlesworth Reserve, a 20 hectare area of restored tidal wetland and surrounding coastal shrub land and bush. Our youngest volunteer was only 3 years old, right up to the over-60’s, and everything in between. As a group we planted salt rushes and caprosma, and contributed to the regular work of the Avon Heathcote Estuary Trust, who play a major role in caring for the habitat of the native wildlife including fish, marine life, bush birds, lizards and native insects.
On 3 April 2019, Christchurch Community House organised a ‘gumboot decorating’ contest to support the 5 April I AM HOPE ‘Gumboot Up Friday’ project which is aiming to raise $2m to go towards providing timely counselling services for young New Zealanders. Richard Brewster, co-Manager at Volunteering Canterbury’s entry was a tribute to the tragic events which took place in our city on 15 March 2019 – and so inspired the Judge that it received the ‘best decorated’ award! A huge shout out to our judge, local JP and floral artist Dianne, and to all the community organisations who entered some wild and wonderful gumboots. Together we raised $135 for the “Gumboot Up” project – nice work everyone!
On 5 March 2019, students and staff from AUIP (American Universities International Programs) spent the afternoon helping to spread mulch around native seedlings alongside the Avon River. This was part of a project to bring life and energy back to this now deserted area, which will one day become a place for locals and tourists to enjoy. The team left inspired by the innovative ideas and passionate community that has grown from the earthquakes disaster.
On 6 March 2019, we attended the Commerce Careers Fair at University of Canterbury and spoke to some great students who have shared their volunteer stories, a student club who we will help set up some group opportunities, and loads of people who want to find out how to make a difference. What a great turnout! Later the same evening we were back for the Law and Justice Recruitment Evening, talking volunteering to gain experience and enhance those CVs.
On 16 February 2019, our Marketing and Outreach Manager, Glenda Martin, was delighted to have the opportunity to be part of the Bellyful South Island Regional Training Day. Bellyful teams from around the South Island came together for a day of learning, sharing and connecting here in Christchurch at the offices of local law firm Anthony Harper. It was such a privilege to be surrounded by people with such passion for their communities!
On 1 February 2019, the team from Spark Foundation put in a hard day’s work weeding and planting in the Travis Wetlands.
On 16 January 2019 our first Group Volunteering team hit the ground running with a team of 12 students from Wisconsin University heading to 0800 Hungry to pack food in preparation for distribution to those who need it. Great work team!
On 5 December 2018, we celebrated both International Volunteer Day and Volunteering Canterbury’s 30th anniversary! We were entertained with amazing performances by Star Jammers Mark and Sophia, as well as the Catholic Cathedral College Filipino Cultural Group. Special guests Kenneth, Arnold and Maiyah shared their personal stories of volunteering, and we were honoured to present Volunteering Canterbury’s own longest standing volunteer, Mary Ellen, with an award recognising her dedication to our organisation over the last 12 years! A huge thank you to Martin Setunsky for the amazing photography and Kidd’s Cakes & Bakery for the impressive (and delicious!) cake!
Throughout the week of 19-23 November 2018, 130 Year 10 boys from Christs’ College engaged in a wide range of activities out in the community as part of their new Year 10 Service Week. Assistant Principal, Neil Porter said “Service is one of Christ’s College’s core values and we are making a concerted effort to engage our boys in service activities throughout their time with us. The hope is that they will appreciate how much they can gain from helping others and will look to continue to do so later in life. It is also just a good thing to do!” We estimate that these teams have contributed an incredible 500 hours to their community this week!
On 6 November 2018, we hosted our first-ever New Migrant Workshops, in partnership with Volunteering New Zealand. These workshops were designed to explore the unique needs of new migrants, inform them about the opportunities and benefits of volunteering in NZ, and help them to get connected with their local community groups. What a great occasion! We had an excellent turn out of migrants new to Christchurch, and of local not-for-profit organisations willing to welcome and assist new migrants to get into volunteering. Thank you to the excellent folk at CanDo Catering for providing delicious afternoon tea, and thank you to all who participated for your time and contributions.
On 5 November 2018 we celebrated International Volunteer Managers’ Day. In recent years, Volunteering Canterbury has offered an opportunity ‘to try something new’ for managers and co-ordinators of volunteer programmes in our region. 2018 was no different – and we welcomed Magaui Stewart for a workshop on West African Drumming! This was a fun, crash-course workshop, with tasty refreshments provided by our neighbours across the road, Bombay Bazaar. Great enjoyment was had by all!
On 17 October 2018, Glenda Martin spoke at the Volunteer Management 101 night, the first in a series of Capacity Building Initiatives run by the Selwyn District Council, held at the Lincoln Events Centre.
On 19 September 2018, The Volunteering Canterbury team had the absolute honour of attending the Westpac Champion Business Awards celebration at Horncastle Arena, as finalists in the Rata Foundation Community Impact – Small Enterprise category. This was a fantastic evening of recognition, with inspiring speakers, delightful entertainment and wonderful celebrations all round! Congratulations to our member organisation, City Harvest Food Rescue, for winning the Category, and fellow-finalist Graeme Dingle Foundation. What an awesome opportunity to highlight the contribution from the community sector to our region.
We are absolutely delighted to announce Volunteering Canterbury’s inclusion as a finalist in the 2018 Westpac Champion Business Awards for Canterbury. We entered under the Rata Foundation Community Impact – Small Enterprise category. Overall winners will be announced at an event in September. We are extremely proud to have volunteering, and its impact in our region, recognised in this way!
On 26 July 2018, Volunteering Canterbury attended the Winter Wellness Expo, held at the University of Canterbury. It was a very well attended event!
On 24 July 2018, Tammy joined our staff here at Volunteering Canterbury. Tammy’s journey with us began two years ago when she came on board with us as a volunteer in the office. Now she takes on the role of Community Project Administrator. Here, our office team, Tammy, Glenda and Richard, are displaying our newly acquired mugs, which match our website homepage. Yes – Volunteering: let the adventures begin!
In July 2018 we were delighted to collaborate with the Waimakariri District Council and the Volunteering North Canterbury team, at the Winter Festival held in Rangiora.
On Monday 25 June 2018, we held a Funding Forum, a collaboration between Christchurch Community House Trust and Volunteering Canterbury. Over 90 people turned out for the two hour event which included a Panel discussion on the question “In the current environment, what is impacting on your organisation’s funding decisions for 2018?” This was facilitated by Brenda Smith, Chief Kite Flyer at Generosity NZ. Panelists were Kate Sclater, Programme Manager at Rata Foundation; Steve Bennett, Funding Manager at Southern Trust; and Trish Hughes, Community Adviser at Department of Internal Affairs. Also supporting with displays was SBS Banking, Web Fair, SEWN. Light refreshments for the evening were kindly supply by Christchurch Casino; and the ZEAL team from Christchurch Girls High School were on hand to distribute refreshments.
On Monday 18 June 2018, 27 individual and 5 group Awards were presented at the annual Volunteer Recognition Awards in recognition of an outstanding voluntary contribution to the community. Special thanks to our Guest Speaker Carl Shaw, Hospital Manager and Executive Officer for Canterbury Charity Hospital, to the Papanui High School Pasifika Cultural Group for providing the entertainment, and to volunteer Photographer Martin Setunsky for capturing the event so beautifully.
On 26 April 2018, twenty five not-for-profit community groups attended the annual Student Volunteer Expo, all looking to recruit students to their volunteer teams. Approximately 450 students went through the Expo, which was held at the Undercroft, James Hight Building, at the University of Canterbury. There was great engagement between the students and the organisations, and the organisations report they have lots of follow-up to do! Volunteering Canterbury co-hosts this event with the University of Canterbury and this year Volunteering Canterbury provided a team for ‘on the ground’ support through its teaming up with an initiative by senior students from Christchurch Girls’ High School who are setting up Ninja Employments, a platform targeted specifically at secondary school students which will advertise paid part-time and volunteer opportunities.
On 31 May 2018, we were delighted to have Minister of Finance, Hon Grant Robertson, and our own Minister of Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Hon Dr Megan Woods, drop in on our office. The Minister of Finance had just presented a Post-Budget Briefing at the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and when talking to us briefly about what we do here at Volunteering Canterbury, repeated the goal which the Prime Minister has recently shared: “for everyone to be earning, learning, caring or volunteering” – so that everyone has an opportunity to contribute in some way, and to reduce social isolation.
On 22 April, Outreach and Marketing Manager, Glenda Martin, traveled to Wellington to the Civil Society Pre-Summit meeting, and, on the Monday, the Inaugural NZ United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Summit itself, hosted by Victoria University. The event was a ‘sell-out’ and included some very informative speakers from businesses actively engaged in this arena of sustainability, including Sanford Fisheries and Vector, overseas administrations (including the SDG Administrator at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and here on the home front, addresses from Ministry for the Environment, the Pacific and Development Group at MFAT, the Prime Minister’s Department, and Judge Andrew Becroft, the Children’s Commissioner. Volunteering Canterbury is very aware of the part which volunteers are playing in contributing to the 17 UNSDGs – without even knowing it! – and are exploring ways of measuring that contribution so that as volunteers we will be able to see and celebrate the difference we are making, not just here in NZ, but at a global level.
While it is always humbling to talk to a group of folk like those Outreach and Marketing Manager, Glenda Martin, spoke to last week at the Addington Catholic Women’s League, it’s also a great opportunity to remind people what an important contribution they make to their community. Often those of us who are right there in the midst of it, volunteering, get so caught up with the passion of what we do that we forget to give ourselves a pat on the back and that’s what an opportunity to talk to groups like this one do!
On 11 April 2018, we attended the NGO Expo hosted by Hillmorton Hospital. This was a great opportunity for Volunteering Canterbury to introduce what we do to those working in the many areas covered by Hillmorton Hospital. Also excellent opportunity to catch-up with colleagues in the community sector including Parent to Parent, Pathways, Petersgate Counselling, Phillipstown Community Centre, Purapura Whetu, Qtopia, St Lukes, Step Ahead, Supporting Families, Women’s Centre, Aspergers Support, Austism NZ, Budget Services, ComCare, Emerge Aotearoa, Kakaura Trust, MASSAT, Men’s Centre, MHAPS, MHERC, Mind and Body.
On Sunday 8 April, VolCan attended the Newcomers Employment Expo held in Rangiora. This event is put together by Citizens Advice Bureau North Canterbury and supported by Migrants & Newcomers Group and Waimakariri District Council. About 100 people came through the Expo with a real mix of nationalities attending, many involved in the rural sector. Volunteering is a great way for migrants and newcomers to get involved with a new community – make new connections and get a taste of workplace etiquette ‘kiwi style’.
On 31 March 2018, Glenda held a display stand at the inaugural Christchurch Kabbadi Tournament, as part of the Vaisakhi Mela, the Sikh New Year festival. Despite high winds the afternoon was a great success and very entertaining!
On 10 March 2018, we attended Culture Galore, in Ray Blank Park, a colourful celebration of cultural diversity in our city. Many Volunteering Canterbury member organisations were in attendance, and the weather and entertainment was spectacular!
On 9 March 2018, we held a stall at an event based at the Christchurch Art Gallery, which welcomed international students to Christchurch. We were charmed by the colourful underground car park and the presence of the Canterbury Crusaders!
On 7 March 2018, the Wainoni Avonside Community Trust celebrated the birthdays of two amazing ladies, Nancy (90) and Janice (88). They were each presented with a “Volunteer Recognition” certificate, acknowledging and thanking them for the tremendous work they do through the Trust and more broadly within their community. A very happy birthday ladies!
On 7 March 2018, the University of Canterbury held their annual Careers Fair. As always, Glenda attended the event to man our VolCan stand and promote volunteering among the huge crowd of students! We were particularly impressed by the innovation and fine example of corporate social responsibility by KPMG who decided this year to dispense with goodies for handouts and instead contribute the costs for those items to three charities: Sir Peter Blake Trust, KidsCan and Rainbow Youth.
On 2 March 2018, we held a Tautoko Network meeting, where Wendi and Julia from the Department of Internal Affairs talked to us about succession planning in not-for-profit organisations.
On 16 February 2018, a number of teams from the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce contributed a day of their time towards helping a number of local charities, including Rannerdale War Veterans’ Home, Ronald Macdonald House, St Vincent de Paul and YWCA Christchurch.
On 31 January 2018, the team from Vbase contributed a day of work tidying up in the Red Zone, for Avon Otakaro.
On 17 January 2018, a group of international students from Global Academic Ventures worked for the day doing a general tidy up in the Red Zone, for Avon Otakaro.
On 5 December 2017, Volunteering Canterbury hosted a picnic at Avebury House, to celebrate International Volunteers Day.
Our Outreach & Marketing Manager, Glenda Martin, recently attended the IAVE Conference (International Association for Volunteering Effort) in Kuala Lumpur, in November 2017. While there, she gave a very well-received presentation on the Power of Volunteering. She was also able to take in some of the local sights, and visit a centre for at-risk children.
Staff from IAG volunteered at St Vincent de Paul, in November 2017.
On the 5 November 2017, we celebrated International Volunteer Managers’ Day with a visit to the Al Noor Mosque here in Christchurch.
Volunteer Centre Network Assocation (VCNA) Hui, 1 November 2017. Managers from the 17 centres across New Zealand met in Auckland for the annual Hui.
Staff from Fulton Hogan undertook a Group Volunteering day at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, in October 2017.
In September 2017, seven senior students from Christchurch’s Haeata Community Campus took up the helm to serve the weekly community lunch at Delta Community Trust.
120 TOP 10 Holiday Parks’ members gifted 140 hours of voluntary labour to six Christchurch charities, in August 2017.
On 19 June 2017 Volunteering Canterbury held our annual Volunteer Recognition Awards, honouring and celebrating volunteers who made an exceptional contribution to the community. Hosted by Newshubs’ Mike McRoberts, the event took place at the Civic Offices, where twenty-one individuals and three groups of volunteers received Awards.
Visitors to the Volunteering Canterbury office – Andrew Little in May 2017 and David Tua in July 2017.
Staff from Kiwibank undertook a Group Volunteering day planting seedlings, in February 2017.