Volunteer Voices: "It’s next level rewarding."- Jordan

Selfie of Jordan on a mountain

Jordan Berry, a free spirited musician with a love of the outdoors, has a desire to make a difference to the community wherever he finds himself. Local water awareness and action group WAI Wānaka have recently enjoyed having this exceptional volunteer on board.

”When I saw the notice from WAI calling for volunteers to help with one of the lakeside clean ups, I was all in.”

It turned out to be just the beginning of learning about a community led organisation that is passionate about the water we have now and into the future. The WAI team is on the ground working with local individuals and organisations to increase awareness, gather valuable data needed and launch programmes to protect and enhance our waterways.

Jordan says that there’s a lot to like about volunteering with WAI. “They offer lots of ways to get involved. There are the practical activities like data collection and lakeside cleanups and activities related to water education and awareness in the community are a big part of what they do too.”

He also says that the opportunities are flexible which is ideal for a transitory community like Wanaka. “You don’t have to commit for life, there is no red tape, just turn up.”

Growing up in North Canterbury Jordan knew at a young age that he wanted to be a person who contributed to positive change in his community. He laughs when he says he already had his dream job at 16 as a checkout operator at the local supermarket. It was a stepping stone to gaining a personal training qualification and at 18 he moved to Wellington to set up his own personal training business.

After 7 very successful years of city life the pull to return to the quieter remote outdoors became too strong to ignore and he returned to Te Wai Pounamu. He arrived in Lake Hāwea at the end of last year and found a place where he felt comfortable exploring his music. “I’m a bit of a paradox really. I love isolation and the outdoors but I also love people and performing music to them. At that time creativity just exploded out of me.”

Soon to launch his second album Jordan is looking forward to beginning an O.E. with his partner Kasia later this year. “It’s been great. We met carpooling to a dance party and we are both on the same page in terms of our travel goals including the desire to immerse ourselves in local communities and do meaningful volunteering.”

In the meantime WAI Wānaka will continue to have opportunities for volunteers. Jordan says “WAI is so supportive of its volunteers and offers all the positives about volunteering - a chance to learn new things, meet new people and have new experiences. It’s next level rewarding.”

Keen to learn more about WAI and volunteering there? Contact WAI today: getinvolved@waiwanaka.nz

*Thinking of volunteering? At Volunteer South - Central Lakes, we can discuss your skills and goals for volunteering and help make the perfect match. For more information visit www.volunteersouth.org.nz

Written for Volunteer South by Juliette Hicks