Record Numbers as Volunteering Waikato Reaches 25 Years

Record Numbers as Volunteering Waikato Reaches 25 Years

Volunteering Waikato is this year celebrating 25 years of supporting the Waikato community.

The organisation, was established in Hamilton in 1993 to help community organisations find and enlist volunteers, and for those who wished to do voluntary work to find the right opportunity to do so.

Since then the organisation has worked with more than 35,000 volunteers around the entire Waikato Region, and currently supports 340 community organisations throughout that area.

“We worked with 3,630 volunteers in our region last year,” says Heather Moore, Volunteering Waikato general manager. “That is the largest number of volunteers we have ever had in any one year.”

As part of its operations, the organisation provides training in best practice in volunteer recruitment, management, volunteer retention, and networking opportunities for those working with volunteers.

“Many of our volunteers are young people seeking practical experience to complement their studies or to expand their CVs, as well as engaging in a meaningful and fun recreational activity.

“Job seekers also find volunteering very beneficial to help gain work experience, recent referees, and many also want to stay engaged in the community while they seek paid employment.”

Heather Moore says that for new migrants, volunteering can be a useful way of making connections and contacts in the community, and helps them understand how their new community works. It also helps them gain recognition of their skills in the community so they can obtain adequate referees when seeking paid employment.

“In recent years Volunteering Waikato’s on-line services have meant that the organisation has been able to recruit and refer volunteers in towns right throughout the region. These online services have resulted in a huge increase in the number of people we find roles for” she says.

“Obviously volunteering is recognised by many in the community as a highly worthwhile way to contribute, and to become involved.”

“It is very heartening to keep working with increasing numbers of people wanting to make a positive impact in their community. Although our services have changed a lot in the past 25 years, our reason for being has absolutely remained the same” says Heather Moore.

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