Youth Speaks – Emily.C

A feature contribution written by one of the youth volunteers, Emily Christensen highlighting her experience volunteering at the SPCA.

Emily Christensen - At Otago SPCA
Emily Christensen, Age 16

Lending a hand in my community

This year I have been involved in some volunteer work while studying for NCEA through a correspondence school. Being able to have a flexible school schedule has allowed me to volunteer for some organisations in my community while still keeping up with schoolwork. I have plans of becoming a vet nurse so I do a lot of volunteer work with animals.

While volunteering I have met some awesome people who strive to make changes for the better in our community. I think that being involved in your community and helping others is a great way to create a positive difference.

After participating in a couple of school holiday programmes with Volunteering Otago where we visited the Otago SPCA I decided to volunteer at the shelter this year. I’ve been volunteering as a dog walker and I’m really enjoying it. The staff there are very friendly and the amount of effort they put in to make the Otago SPCA a great place just amazes me. I love meeting all the dogs and getting to know their personalities, I have met some great characters and it’s so nice to see them go off to new homes.

I’ve also been volunteering for Dog Rescue Dunedin and am currently walking a dog once a week for a couple who aren’t able to walk their dog. I have been getting to know the owners of the dog and being able to help them out is a great feeling. It’s wonderful to see the dog content after a walk and the amount of gratitude the owners show is lovely. I keep in contact regularly with the staff of Dog Rescue Dunedin and have found they are always informative and are easy to talk to. I am very proud to support and volunteer with an organisation that is working towards a good cause.

Last Month I volunteered for the New Zealand International Science Festival. I helped supervise the events and made sure the public were happy and informed. It was nice to see that the events went smoothly and that my efforts helped create a successful festival.

I think volunteering is great because you not only help others and meet new people but you also gain new skills and experience that will stay with you forever.