Volunteer South seeks to strengthen the community through impactul volunteering. Partnering with organisations with similar values or aims, enables us to have a broader, far reaching impact within our communities.

Central Lakes Winter Food Campaign

KiwiHarvest launched a Winter Campaign in 2023 to improve Food Security across Central Lakes. They say, "with the pressure of rising mortgage rates, rent increases, petrol, energy and food cost increase, many hard-working locals will be stretched beyond breaking point, and find themselves, for the first time ever, having to ask for help. We want to be able to provide this help." Any food and money donated to the campaign is distributed equally across their recipient charities.

Giving time is another way to contribute, and Volunteer South have supported this effort by collating volunteering roles submitted by all the recipient charities for the campaign landing page, and will be promoting these opportunities over the next few months. Read more about the campaign here.

Reconnecting Seniors Network

The Reconnecting Seniors Network (formerly Champion for Older Persons Group) is made up of representatives from local agencies (including Community Networks Wānaka/LINK Upper Clutha, Age Concern, St John, Volunteer South, Queenstown Lakes District Council and Food for Love), community members and older adults.

The RSN aims to support the wellbeing of seniors in our community, helping them stay connected and involved in their local community.

In October 2022, the RSN received funding from Te Hau Toka to deliver a 12-month Reconnecting Seniors project, creating opportunities for older residents to connect, learn, and have fun throughout the Upper Clutha. This initiative has been extended and continue to support seniors in the Upper Clutha with a range of initiatives.

The project is being delivered by Community Networks Wānaka/LINK Upper Clutha. For more information, see their Community Development page.

Love Wānaka & Love Queenstown

Lake Wānaka Tourism and Destination Queenstown have launched new funding platforms that connect our visitors and visitor industry to environmental projects in our region. Through donations, investment and volunteer opportunities, Love Wānaka and Love Queenstown give all those who visit the chance to actively protect and regenerate our rohe (region). .

Each year, funds will be allocated to charitable organisations who are tackling the climate crisis at a local level – whether that’s through native revegetation, waterway protection, biodiversity enhancement, pest control, or waste minimization.

We are working with them to share meaningful volunteer opportunities and to ensure the volunteer experience is postive.

For more information, head to Love Wānaka or Love Queenstown

Volunteer Awards - SBS Bank

The Volunteer Awards were established in 2021 as dedicated awards for recognising the enormous work that is done in the Ōtepoti community with volunteering.

In 2022, SBS Bank, Volunteer South, and Otago Community Trust came together in partnership to meaningfully celebrate tūao | volunteers, volunteering and volunteer-involving organisations and community groups across Ōtepoti.

The Volunteer Awards 2022 took place in September. Please follow this link to see a summary of the ceremony.

For more details, head to

We are exploring options for The Volunteer Awards to take place again in the future.

Social Impact Studio | UniCrew Volunteers

Kaitūao o te Taitonga | Volunteer South and UniCrew volunteers at the University of Otago have worked together to support volunteering in Ōtepoti | Dunedin city since 2015. We continue to work closely with Social Impact Studio and UniCrew - their flagship volunteer programme.

Volunteer South and Social Impact Studio both have a focus on supporting volunteer-involving organisations and encouraging people to volunteer in their community. In 2023 we partnered with them for Futureproof - a student led initiative exploring ways for organisations to be more welcoming and appealing to young volunteers.

  • If you're promoting your volunteer role with Volunteer South, you'll automatically start promoting it with UniCrew volunteers.
  • We're working together to increase the awareness of volunteering in the community which means double the visibility. Your roles can be featured in communications from both organisations - all you have to do is let us know.
  • Emergencies get a more cohesive community-wide response: in the event of an emergency we'll work together to support a spontaneous volunteer response.

For more information about UniCrew volunteers, check out their website here. For Social Impact Studio, check out this information on the University of Otago's website here.

Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management

Working together across the Otago region since 2018, Kaitūao o te Taitonga | Volunteer South, Social Impact Studio and Otago Civil Defence hold and MOU to work together in response to a community emergency situation.

During the 2020 Covid-19 nationwide lockdown, Volunteer South in Central Lakes was quickly activated to support the Queenstown Lakes area, followed by Dunedin, Central Otago and Waitaki in the following weeks. Named as the lead agency for volunteer coordination, Volunteer South helped to promote safe ways of volunteering as well as funneling volunteers into areas of need during the initial - and longer - welfare response. Following this period Volunteer South added on the Emergency Volunteering sign up feature to our website.

In an emergency, Volunteer South will support Civil Defence by assisting with spontaneous volunteer coordination. These spontaneous, emergent or community volunteers can be funneled through Volunteer South who can send them to the appropriate organisations and roles. In Dunedin, Social Impact Studio and Volunteer South will ensure this is done in a coordinated way so that our university students are also well supported.

For more information about Emergency Volunteering, head to our page here. For more information on Otago Civil Defence Emergency Management, head to their website here.