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Volunteering during COVID and transitioning into business as usual roles.
 

We hope you are well and have enjoyed the long weekend. It was great to see communities returning to normal in many ways and we loved seeing Lumify bring smiles to our communities - well done to the amazing team of volunteers driving LUMA and to everyone who embraced Lumify this year!

Volunteering Central continues to support the welfare response and are now moving into recovery mode with both the CODC and QLDC. We are still so blown away by the amount of people offering their help and want to acknowledge you all.

We had an overwhelming response, with nearly 600 volunteers registering to help across the Queenstown Lakes and Central Otago. This is an astounding number, however not at all surprising as we all know how fabulous our communities are and how supportive you are of each other.

If you were called upon to volunteer - thank you for your time and energy.

If you were not called upon to volunteer - we still thank you for offering your time and energy and are sorry that we didn't need you.

Following the national trend we have more volunteers than needed, so couldn't find roles for you all, but we are truly grateful to everyone who put their hands up to help.

So far, we've had nearly 200 requests for support from councils and local organisations that have resulted in around 250 volunteer actions each week carried out by volunteers that have registered for the COVID 19 response. Roles include one to one shopping support, deliveries of groceries to vulnerable people, voucher administrators in Queenstown and Wanaka for those in financial difficulty, needs assessment callers, Meals on Wheels drivers and volunteering in support roles for Age Concern, Salvation Army and Cancer Society.

Volunteers are still out there volunteering and most requests for volunteers now relate to those roles that are usually carried out by older volunteers who remain cautious about getting out and about, and also from organisations such as Salvation Army who have seen a huge increase in the need for their services.

If you are interested in finding out about other volunteering roles we'd love to keep in touch. In 'normal times' Volunteering Central promotes, strengthens and supports volunteering and one of our key roles is to connect volunteers to organisations that involve volunteers. We also work closely with organisations ensuring they strive to give volunteers the best possible experience, so volunteering is a win win for all involved! 

We are starting to see regular roles come back on line and you can find out about these roles in a range of ways - via our website, newsletters, Facebook page and group, Wanaka App, Central App and shortly on the Queenstown app as well. We also hope to continue our monthly column in The News sponsored by Affleck O'Meara Accounting Superheroes. Click on the buttons below to find out more.

Thank you to you for offering your help, even if you didn't volunteer, the intention was there and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for putting your hand up and thinking of others.

Thank you for being kind, keep safe and keep well.

Gillian and Kirsty

"We volunteered because we’ve always been about community and giving back. It was a no-brainer for us. When the border closed, our business stopped overnight so we had vehicles and drivers doing nothing. We reached out to Volunteering Central to see how we could help. Matching us to New World customers to help with delivering groceries to the most vulnerable was a perfect fit."

"It’s been incredibly rewarding to visit people all over town who have been so appreciative for our service. Often we have been the only people they have physically spoken to in weeks. We became a connection to the outside world - boosting spirits on both sides."

Mark Orbell, Ridgeline Adventures, Wanaka.

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Please retain my details for future emergency roles

"I really enjoyed shopping for Glenda, she is lovely. I would love to keep helping her through all the levels. Thanks so much" (name changed for privacy reasons)

Patricia, CODC shopping support volunteer, Alexandra.

Can you still help? 
We are keen to have an up-to-date picture of volunteers available as we move down the levels. If you can no longer offer your services as the levels change and work commitments increase can you please click on the button below and let us know! Thank you.
> Can't volunteer anymore?

"I signed up to volunteer as soon as I saw the call out... it's good to be able to do something for the community in such a tough time like this."

"No role came up until Level 3, and since then, I've been at the super market [and now the Wanaka Community Hub] giving out the food vouchers. The people receiving the vouchers have been soooo appreciative!"

"Observing the hesitant shoppers as we move from 4 to 3 to 2...it has been fascinating, and it has been rather social too, a chance to get out of the house and see other humans :-) "

Sonia Richter, QLDC/CIvil Defence Voucher Admin Volunteer

View the COVID 19 Volunteer Guidelines Here
Huge thanks Sue at Cromwell Community House and Carole at Alexandra Community House for their outstanding support and collaboration whilst working through the COVID 19 welfare response and thank you to all the volunteers who are helping us directly with our work. Carole and Sue are returning their focus to their main jobs as they prepare for level 2, so Kirsty and I will be your key contacts in Central going forward. If you need anything don't hesitate to get in touch with us at hello@volunteeringcentral.org.nz

"I wanted to volunteer so I could help out people who needed it and do something meaningful and useful with my spare time, as I lost my job due to COVID"

"I am gaining a lot of experience talking with people from all walks of life and it is a great feeling that you may be a small part in helping someone through a tough situation. On a whole it feels like people are extremely grateful for what help they can get, are staying positive and continuing to be kind to each other during this testing time."

Laura Carruthers, QLDC Needs Assessment Team.

Thanks to the local and regional media for highlighting the work being carried out during the welfare response. Here is a selection of some of the stories out there.

Behind the Scenes at Volunteering Central - Wanaka App

100s volunteer to help others - ODT

Volunteers keen to help others - ODT

Lakes Weekly Bulletin - volunteer spotlight.

Volunteers assisting migrants - the need is overwhelming

Helping in times of need - ODT


For a selection of national stories relating to volunteering in COVID 19 head to VNZ's website here.
"The overwhelmingly response I’m getting from people we call is how grateful they are for the assistance they are receiving. I’m very happy I can help out in this small way." 
Katy, QLDC needs assessment volunteer, Wanaka.
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Copyright © 2020 Volunteering Central, All rights reserved.

Contact Gillian White at
gillian@volunteeringcentral.org.nz 027 506 5705
Contact Kirsty Miles at kirsty@volunteeringcentral,org.nz 027 506 5777


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Volunteering Central · Volunteering Central · Alexandra Community House, 14-20 Centennial Avenue · Alexandra, Otago 9320 · New Zealand

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