Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa | Lets us keep together, not wide apart.
With 2021, came the hope that things will be better and that we would be able to put more of the chaos of 2020 behind us. We know that this will not always be the case - we tell our volunteers all the time, "life happens!" - and the not-for-profit, community and voluntary sector will continue to work to support our more vulnerable members just as much, if not more, than before.
To the tūao volunteers that support our community and donate their time, their enthusiasm and their effort to the multiple great works in our backyard. The message of 2020 was clear - take care of ourselves and our neighbours, be kind and generous. We have an enthusiastic desire in Aotearoa to commit to multiple good causes. Everyday, through our database, we see people put their name forward for multiple opportunities. Your dedication to the work that is done and the support given, is the true backbone of Aotearoa New Zealand. Please don't forget to honour yourself and take care; be kind to yourself!
And to the kairuruku tūao | volunteer coordinators that support those out in our community - remember that volunteers are not "nice to haves". Volunteering is fast becoming a professional voluntary position and as such, the rules that we need to follow to ensure the safety and support of our tūao volunteers need to be as robust and well thought out as possible. Volunteering New Zealand has recently released information about police vetting and background checks for volunteers, and the information is well worth a look. The idea behind vetting volunteers is about getting a more complete picture of a person - ensuring that they will be safe, the clients will be safe and your organisation will be safe. Police vetting is just one way of several to get this picture and can often take the longest.
Kaitūao o te Taitonga | Volunteer South continues to advocate for best practice in the not-for-profit sector. Our mentorship service, where we support volunteer-involving organisations provides volunteer coordinators and managers with their volunteer programmes. This service is free to all members and can support organisations starting their first volunteer programme, through to seasoned managers looking to shake their programme up. Volunteer South uses resources from across Aotearoa New Zealand, so you know that you will be given the best information New Zealand has to offer.
Our South Dunedin volunteer hub is also opening - postponed because of Alert Level 2 - where we will support the community in South Dunedin to volunteer in their own space. With the Mosgiel volunteer hub still going strong, we are opening to increase the visibility of volunteering across Dunedin. The volunteer centre in Waitaki is eagerly awaiting their first Leaders of Volunteers with the highly anticipated Te Tiriti o Waitangi topic to support engagement and responsiveness for the Māori community.
There are multiple events, trainings and workshops coming up for our volunteer-involving organisations. Check out our events page here to view these. In the coming months, we are also looking at providing the popular Mental Health workshop to volunteers, as well as cultural competency for the Indian culture. Volunteer South has been lucky to have been supported by some amazing community groups to enable these to happen, so these will remain free for the volunteers.
As ever, please get in touch with us if you need us. We are more than happy for you to provide us with any information that you think is relevant - even if it means shaking things up a bit!
Ka pai tō mahi!