When the conversation from the community shifted after lockdown to how we could work better together, Volunteer South stopped and took stock of all that it had traditionally done and deeply considered the needs in the community. Our organisation has been one that has, like so many organisations around, be quite reliant on the way things are and the emphasis on change has been slow. While rāhui showed us change could be fast, the lessons learned have not been without significant challenges and stress. The question put before Volunteer South, therefore, has been how to bring about the change and the collaboration wanted in the community without the usual challenges thrown in the way.
On Thursday, 16th of July, we celebrated the historic opening of our new volunteer pop-up hub in Mosgiel. Never before has Volunteer South - or any of its names in its long 34 year history - considered the bold move of an actual hub in any part of the wider Dunedin area. Our pop-up hub (or hubs – as there will be more!) signals that what is needed in our community is more support for that particular community. Mosgiel is a volunteer hub that will connect local volunteers with local opportunities. The barrier of distance from our Dunedin office will no longer be an issue.
Mosgiel became the first of our new hubs – and there are more planned across Otago and Southland. In August we will celebrate the opening of the new Volunteer Centre in Waitaki with one part time team member. Both of the hubs and the new centres will focus on our Community Connections programme where we match volunteers with volunteer opportunities. If you are an organisation or a community group that involves volunteers and want to make sure that your roles are advertised with us, get in touch with us. It’s free and the benefits are huge!
Lastly, we just want to thank all those who have volunteered with us, supported us and funded us for the past 34 years. Volunteer South has been on a journey, and the world has been bumpy right along with us. Change will always come, but its how you deal with it that really matters. Thanks for being there with us and we’re looking forward to how we work with you all in the future, whatever that might bring.
Aroha mai, aroha atu. Nga mihi nui!