National Volunteer Week, 17 to 23 June 2018, celebrates the importance of volunteering in New Zealand and the goodwill of the people who give up their time for it. The theme for this year is: Volunteers, The Heart of our Community – By many, the work will be completed, Mā tini, mā mano, ka rapa te whai. The aim is to remind people of the central and inseparable role of people in keeping volunteering alive.

While the number of Kiwis involved in volunteering has increased over the past decade, the amount of hours worked has decreased. This means, now more than ever, the immensely positive impact of volunteering, felt throughout our communities, the economy and the people themselves needs to be highlighted.

Volunteering Canterbury will present Volunteer Recognition Awards at an event to be held at the Civic Offices on Monday 18 June at 2pm.  The Papanui High School Pasifika Cultural Group will participate in the event, and the Guest Speaker, Phillip Bagshaw, founder of Canterbury Charity Hospital, will share a little of the Hospital’s journey before presenting 27 individual and five group awards.

More than simply providing programmes and services, the volunteer sector strengthens community bonds while also extending and deepening the public’s engagement with their regions.  The theme for National Volunteer Week 2018 highlights the human side of volunteering, showing people not only is volunteering good, it’s good for you and your community.

“This year’s Awards are from a broad range across the community sector and truly encapsulate the meaning behind this year’s theme” Glenda Martin, Outreach and Marketing Manager at Volunteering Canterbury says.  “We are always humbled by the stories that come to us along with nominations for these Awards and 2018 is no different. “