Kia ora e hoa, Otago!
One of the things that continues to amaze me in this role is just how much volunteer managers continue to go above and beyond in their work. There is never a dull moment when it comes to volunteer programmes, and those of us who wake up in the morning ready to support people know that it can be so rewarding, but also so exhausting.
We have been focusing on volunteer managers this month, in the lead up to volunteer managers day on Tuesday, 5th of November. We have been doing a series of posts highlighting extra awesome volunteer managers in the Otago community on both our Facebook and Instagram. We will also be holding a morning tea for volunteer managers on the day (please RSVP if you want to join us! Details below!). This will give us a chance to celebrate the wonderful people who make volunteering happen in our communities.
While at the Volunteering NZ Pivot conference earlier in October, we had one of the guest speakers ask us all, “Who decided to be a volunteer manager when they were in high school?” Think about it – commonly, we’d have had dreams like becoming a police officer, or an Olympic gymnast, or an author. How many of us in volunteer management roles can honestly say this is where we aimed to be when we were younger?
This is such an amazing way of thinking about how we got to be where we are today. Because volunteer managers have often found themselves in this role by “accident” or by committing to a cause for so long, it means there is such an incredible depth of experience and knowledge in our sector. This wide range of experiences really diversify the way we look at volunteering, how we interact with the community, even how we communicate with others about volunteering. We have the skills to be able to reach a wider range of people simply by coming to these roles with passion and enthusiasm. What a strong, connected sector we have.
We see this community thrive in Otago. Everyone I have met in the past 8 weeks has explained some of their challenges, but they never say they are insurmountable. They have praised their volunteers and think the world of them. They are continually looking for incredible solutions in an increasingly timepoor situation. They are the heroes of the community, and where would we be without them.
So thank you to all the volunteer managers out there in the community. You are all amazing, doing amazing work!