Over 1 million people across New Zealand volunteer for an organisation each year and last week the country honoured the work done by individuals to help make their own communities stronger.

Volunteer South – Central Lakes (formally Volunteering Central) promotes, strengthens, and supports volunteering across the Central Lakes district, creating stronger, more connected communities.

This year Volunteer South celebrated 10 years supporting volunteers in the community.

“National Volunteer Week is an opportunity for us to take a moment to appreciate the work so many do within their communities to keep them strong and connected.

“Stopping to celebrate, acknowledge and thank the hard work done is a privilege for us all,” says Volunteer South-Central Lakes Manager, Gillian White.

Cromwell Neighbourhood Support hosted a quiz to acknowledge volunteers and offer an opportunity to connect with others.

“During the colder months we tend to hibernate, not get out much, so we decided to hold an evening where volunteers could invite their friends, neighbours and work colleagues to join in and have some fun,” said Karen Palmer, Cromwell Neighbourhood Support coordinator.

Eleven teams took part in the evening with many coming from different volunteer organisations.

“It was great to celebrate and give volunteers an opportunity to chat, connect and network with each other, “she adds.

Local organisations celebrate their volunteers individually throughout the week with Volunteer South looking to celebrate regionally later in the year when the weather is warmer.

“Each year we are lucky to have so many to thank, volunteers are what makes our region a beautiful place to live.

“Caring for our elderly with hot meals and transport, reading to children, caring for our neighbourhoods and looking out for each other on a constant basis is worth celebrating.

“Thank you to the many volunteers who keep our communities connected, your work is appreciated by many,” Gillian adds.

International Volunteer Day will be held on December 5th 2021.

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