Volunteer Voices - Tasmin Murphy, Doing It For A Cause, Not Applause.

Photo of volunteer Tasmin Murphy

December 5 is International Volunteer Day and this week we met inspiring young Wanaka volunteer, Tasmin Murphy. The Year 9 Mount Aspiring College student has already been volunteering at Mint Charitable Trust for 2 years.

“Being around the Mint crew makes me really happy,” says Tasmin Murphy. At 14 years old she is already a committed volunteer doing important things in her community. “I do it because I love it, not because I want to be thanked or noticed”.

Mint Charitable Trust works towards enabling people with intellectual disabilities in the Upper Clutha to forge their best lives. Mint has a group of dedicated volunteers, supporting their inclusive weekly activities, holiday programmes and camps which provide physical, intellectual and social engagement. Some of the end goals are improved confidence and greater involvement with the community.

As one of the volunteer cheerleaders, supporters and encouragers who are at the heart of Mint, Tasmin says there is a lot to love about this tight knit crew. “Even though I’m young, everyone is so welcoming and open and they’re all passionate about helping people. Right from the get go I felt I had found a very genuine group of people.”

Initially becoming involved with the Trust when she was fulfilling specified volunteering requirements of her William Pike Challenge (a national programme building resilient students outside the classroom) Tasmin gained so much from her volunteering she didn't stop when she had met her challenge. Today she’s a highly valued member of the team and has seen how young members have changed and grown with Mint. “They become more confident and develop a more can-do mindset. She laughs when she says “Some of them do activities I would never do myself. They give everything a go.”

Programme Manager for Mint, Charlotte Jackson says Tasmin is a true advocate for people with intellectual disabilities “She is an integral part of our volunteer team, and Mint family. Inspiring, passionate, and bold, she prioritises those she is supporting and always ensures their well-being is the focus.”

Wanaka is a place of opportunity for Tasmin. “There is the outdoors of course but it’s also super easy to be part of the community here.” A member of the MAC sailing team, she helps with the Learn to Sail Programme in summer, volunteers with the Adaptive Ski Programme in winter and enjoys being outdoors and being with friends all year round. “Doing things is so much more satisfying than screen time and when I'm not out and about I love getting stuck into a good book." says Tasmin.

Tasmin’s happiest times at Mint are supporting the crew when they are working out at the gym and being at the Tuesday night chill sessions that Mint holds with Kahu Youth. “Everyone is just being themselves and hanging out. It's fun and so comfortable.”

Thinking of volunteering? This young volunteer says “There is nothing to lose. Go for it. You will meet inspiring people and it’s beyond fulfilling. I’m going to carry on doing it for sure.”

Written by Juliette Hicks, Volunteer South.
Photo by Aspen Bruce, Wanaka Sun.