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Member since 01 Apr 2007
Member from Tauranga
Having left the permanent workforce some two years ago I am considering some volunteer work. I would like to hear other's experiences, what sort of volunteering they do and and how they balance their volunteer work with their private life. I have a slight fear of commitment because I do take holidays every now and again and wouldn't want to let anyone down. Maybe someone can re-assure me it's a good thing to do.
Member since 08 Feb 2007
Member from Hastings
Hi, tulip, its a lovely thing to do. I used to volunteer at an op shop. The laughs were great, had fun with the customers, heard some sad stories too, but all a wonderful experience. Most op shops are just happy to have people volunteer and are willing to work in with each person. If that does not appeal there is budget advice/ccs, or similar. Maybe you could ring your local citizens advice, they will give you as list of places who are seeking help, tthen visit a few places before committing to anyone.The world of volunteering is great, especially if you find something that suits you, so God Bless you for your willingness. I volunteer for a christian helpline, done it for over 10yrs, aas things changed abit dont do op shop now, but i really did enjoy it.
Member since 14 Jul 2006
Member from Kawerau
We've often read that the country would come to a standstill without volunteers and it's so true. Rest Homes often look for volunteers to help with driving, reading, entertaining or just hanging out with the residents. It's a very worthwhile thing to be involved in and does make one think 'there but for grace of God' etc. My volunteering has involved Riding for the Disabled, Citizens Advice, facilitating writing courses, teaching SeniorNet (which I still do) op shops. I find it most rewarding and know that whatever I do is really appreciated which is more than I can say about the people that used to employ me for low wages in stressful jobs. So good on you, Tulip. Cheers Pixie
Member since 06 Nov 2006
Member from Owaka
Hi Tulip,I spent 13 years as a volunteer Ambulance Officer and they were amongst the most rewarding years of my life.It is a wonderful feeling being able to help someone in need.I was very sad when I had to give up because of health reasons.Good luck with whatever you do,Im sure it will enrich your life.
Hi Pixie, Booklover and Smacka
Great to hear from you - quite a few good ideas there. You are stirring up my enthusiasm already. Would still like to hear from others who would like to share their experiences.
Member since 02 Nov 2006
Member from Linwood
I delivered meals on wheels both in Aus. and here in Christchurch for about 12 years. It was a once a fortnight turn. It was a busy run and not a lot of time could be spent at each home. Lovely recipients, everyone. I had to give up as getting in and out of the car so often was exacerbating my arthritic back problem. Do take time to examine exactly what will be expected of you physically and mentally when you go offering your help. At the moment I am helping with Handiscope which is for those with physical and mental challenges and older. We have a lot of fun and I never feel sorry for these lovely souls. Their spirit and smiles lift me up. I am doing crafts in the recycling room and we assist a person to perform a simple task in the making of items to sell. I love it. Good luck, Tulip
Member since 14 Sep 2006
Member from Hobsonville
Hi, I have been a volunteer radio operator with Coastguard Northern Region in Auckland for about 11 or 12 years now. Amazingly Coastguard gets no direct government funding at all, and survives on membership subscriptions, sponsorships and grants etc., plus help from volunteers. They are often looking for people to help out in different areas. For instance in the Auckland area there is:
1) the radio room where we take routine calls from boaties out on the water and organise help if they get into trouble; you need to like talking to people and be able to use a computer
2) crewing on the boats (known as "wetside"
3) crewing the aircraft eg. as a spotter
4) general admin support.
I've done it for so long because like someone else said, it's such a great feeling when you've helped someone - and when I was in the corporate world it was such a fantastic change from my day job. We work in teams and if someone is away on holiday or sick, we just ring around and find a replacement. My duties come up about once a month and I spend 1/2 - 1 day there, so it's not too onerous.
There are different Coastguard units around the country, so if you're interested in knowing more, contact your local unit which should be in the phone directory or for the Northern Region you can go to www.coastguard.org.nz (click on "Can You Help" then "Becoming a Volunteer" or for the national Coastguard Federation go to http://www.nzcoastguard.org.nz.
thats great Mudwitch, It has only been through the tv programme "coastwatch" that I learnt they get no funding, I think thats awful, look at the wonderful job they do. Certainly they should get funding,there seems to be guite a few very worthwhile org. that have to manage with little or no help from the govt.while others get too much.Here in flaxmere, youth org, given funding, to help troubled youth, and the money gone out the door, and need I say no help for youth, well not what they reguire anyway. shall be watching the papers to see if anyone brought to account for it, esp. when so manyother worthwhile org. get no funding,wrong priorities, I think.
Yes, booklover, it doesn't make sense to me either. The information isn't really out there - so many boaties think that Coastguard offers a free service and are often surprised when we tell them they'll have to pay for a tow home.
Hi Joybell and Mudwitch
What a lot of interesting things you people do. Thank you so much for sharing these things. I am about to go on holiday and I almost can't wait to get back and start looking for something interesting to volunteer for. I'll put in a report when I get started!
Member since 22 Feb 2007
I have been volunteering for around four years now in our local Resthome/Hospital. My husband is a resident now of the resthome and that's how i got started. Mainly with craft and using my skills with both photography and music. I have great fun with all the residents...i love playing for sing-a-longs, also our little 'choir' and teaching new skills in the craft area. I have made many friends amongst staff and residents. I have in the past been involved with Girl Guide activies as a leader and also in the local Competition Society so i guess i have spent a lot of my time in between raising a family, working etc., but i just enjoy being busy i guess. Now i'm older i must admit i don't do quite the same amount of volunteering as i have in years gone by, but this certainly is one way to keep one occupied instead of staying home and feeling lonely and depressed. Try it you might just enjoy yourselves.
Member from Glenfield
what a cool idea to volunteer where your husband is residing Sunshine..Good for you. He would feel much better with you there for so long, and it would be easier than visiting and just sitting and talking for a while and then going home to an empty house. i admire your spitit.
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