Photograph above: Alan Kissell wins Volunteer Nelson’s The Car Company Community Champion Award for work with Menzshed Waimea who were hosts for migrant volunteers in 2019
It’s been a hugely eventful year and Volunteer Nelson has learned and gained so much through its connection and collaboration with a number of organisations and dynamic individuals from a broad spectrum of interest groups across Nelson Tasman.
We especially thank all our funders and collaborative partners that make all these interactions and our programmes possible.
Volunteer Nelson has held a number of workshops this year, addressing topics like Surviving Volunteer Management (with Andy Fryar), Facilitating Community-led Change (with Cissy Rock, Inspiring Communities) and Engaging the Older Volunteer (with Gordon Oldfield of Volunteer Nelson and Caroline Budge of Age Concern).
We have also run two Youth Leadership programmes with Careerforce enabling over 100 youngsters to get involved in youth-centred projects with 20 young people having the opportunity to gain their level 3 Certificate in Youth Work. We look forward to our next Young Leaders programme starting in January!
Throughout the year, as part of Strengthening Community Governance, we ran a series of Governance Bites targeted at people involved in governance touching roles in their organisations and for those wanting to attract the best expertise to their boards. These were well received and in September this year evolved into the launch of a new series of 12 monthly Governance Round Table sessions. These offered a deeper dive into the practicalities of common non-profit board dilemmas. The sessions were interactive with participants sharing their experiences and questions whilst tailoring knowledge gained at the workshops to their own organisational needs. These sessions will continue to be led through 2020 by director of the LEAD Centre, Garth Nowland-Foreman, an experienced trainer and facilitator, and non-profit governance expert.
Our Migrant Volunteering programme has grown beyond our expectations with community organisations taking up the challenge of broadening their reach still further into the non-English speaking community. This has enabled these newcomers to Nelson the opportunity to practise English, meet local Nelsonians regardless of where they originated from, practise their skills and learn new ones whilst making new friends on their pathway to settlement and employment in New Zealand. We thank organisations like English Language Partners, Red Cross and Multicultural Nelson Tasman and NMIT for working with us to move people into volunteering roles and also community organisations like Waimea Menzshed, Brook Waimarama Sanctuary, Days for Girls, Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, Nelson Environment Centre, Tahunanui and Victory Community Centres, amongst many others who have made these group and individual volunteering opportunities possible.
We have enjoyed working with agencies such as Workbridge, NMDHB, Employable and IDEA Services support workers to find volunteering opportunities for their clients through our Supported Volunteering programme.
Another exciting programme has been our Community Champions Awards, sponsored by The Car Company Nelson. This year, we have presented nine awards to people who were nominated by their colleagues as being exceptional volunteers who give much of their time, love and effort and have, in many cases, done so for a number of years. New Zealand is founded on volunteer spirit and effort and without the support of many more individuals like these, community organisations would not be able to run the programmes that they do to support our community. Thank you! Thank you!
There are some exciting events coming up in 2020. On Saturday 7 March, Volunteer Nelson and Age Concern will be hosting our first Volunteer Recruitment Fair as part of our collaborative Nelson Connects programme. Nelson Connects is about engaging people 55+ while they are still in the workplace to get involved in volunteering before they head into retirement.
Many retirees who have embarked on volunteering say they feel less isolated, and it gives them a sense of purpose and belonging. This in turn, fosters better mental and physical wellbeing as people connect with others to achieve a shared goal or objective.
We thank all the community organisations and residents who have attended our monthly Community and Whanau Network meetings and for those who have spoken at these meetings, introducing the work they do, and for facilitators who have assisted us on occasion. We hope to have more of you facilitating in 2020. If you would like to speak at one of these meetings, please email [email protected]! spaces are filling up fast and at time of writing we only had spots open from September to December 2020!
In 2020 Volunteer Nelson aims to run a series of FreshFM.net radio interviews with volunteer involving community organisations and the volunteers who serve them. These will also be available as podcasts. If you wish to participate, please get in touch with us by emailing [email protected]
To find out more about our programmes, to share your news, or connect with other community organisations, visit the appropriate links below or browse our website: www.volunteernelson.org.nz