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Good things come in threes

Judene Edgar from EncompassNZ shares this story…

Broadgreen House volunteers, from left, Di Scott, Bev Stephens and Karen Richards with their Volunteer Nelson Certificates of Appreciation

Run by volunteers continually for 50 years, the NCC’s Broadgreen Historic House celebrates three of their exceptional volunteers, Bev Stephens, Di Scott and Karen Richards, who were recognised at an afternoon tea last week as part of Volunteer Nelson’s volunteer recognition programme.

Volunteer Nelson Coordinator Belinda Harte surprised the women with certificates of acknowledgement and a $20 supermarket voucher each thanks to The Car Company, Nelson.

Bev, who has been volunteering at Broadgreen House for 19 years since retiring from nursing, says that it was an extra special way to spend her 81st birthday. “I like people and I quite enjoy history,” Bev says. “Making sure the house is well presented and showing people through is my favourite part.”

Despite being one of the newest volunteers, former primary teacher Di has dived in head-first establishing and rejuvenating the children’s and holiday programmes and coordinating the open days. “I like to make each day different which adds to the fun,” says Di. “There might be butter churning, ice cream making, or cross stitch – it’s just about getting kids involved. They are quite amazed at how hard it was to do the simplest things.”

Their current exhibition, ‘Suffragists at Home’, was a real labour of love for textile expert and former Waimea College materials teacher Karen Richards. “We wanted to tell the story about the Buxtons and their staff and what they might have been doing at the time of the Suffrage movement,” says Karen.

The exhibition includes examples of women’s stitching crafts as well as some beautiful garments lovingly preserved by Karen.

Chairperson Mary Gavin says that fun and teamwork are key ingredients to the trio’s success. “We have over 30 wonderful volunteers but we’re on the look-out for more people to join our team,” says Mary.

Broadgreen House is open 10am to 4.30pm so anyone interested in volunteering can either pop in and have a chat or phone 547-0403. The ‘Suffragists at Home’ exhibition runs until December 31 (closed Christmas Day). For more information, visit the Nelson City Council’s Broadgreen House webpage.


Many volunteers are pioneers

Volunteer Nelson also thanks the Nelson Provincial Museum for additionally nominating Karen Richards featured in our Broadgreen House story, as one of their exceptional volunteers. Karen, a Nelson Embroider’s Guild member, and the museum’s textile collection guardian, was instrumental in the Museum’s ‘It all comes back to thread – embroidery now and then’ exhibition in July, which she suggested run in conjunction with the NZ Embroiderer’s Conference held in Nelson. Amongst the 50 works, the oldest piece was created by an 11-year-old girl and dated back to 1836.

This just shows that volunteers don’t just make things happen, they are also pioneers leading the way! Visit the Volunteers section of our VN website to find out more about volunteering.

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