Appropriately enough, Luke credits his family for inspiring him to volunteer for Plunket:
“Liz is part of my extended family and works for Plunket, I saw her post on Facebook that she was looking for kids and parents to volunteer. And my wife gave me the motivation to start it - she volunteers for the kids in schools programme as well.”
With three young children, time isn’t something they have in abundance. “Rilien runs a pretty busy home life looking after the children, and I’m a nurse and I work a lot of shifts. Generally it’s only a couple of hours out of my day but it’s something I’m happy to give up. Being a young dad with kids you don’t have much time, but volunteering is something you squeeze in.”
But Luke says he finds the time to volunteer because he wanted to give back to his local community – he is a former student of Dilworth School himself.
“I was a wee bit motivated to give back to my old school. It’s unique, there’s nothing like it in New Zealand, and only one other place like it in the world – a free boarding school for people whose parents would benefit for some extra space, or time. Dilworth is not just a school, it’s a community I was part of for years. I received such a good education and it set me up for where I’ve gone in life. I benefited from the school for many years so it’s good to give back.”
He says being around children helps build the students confidence: “The boys really get an awareness of babies and children, what to expect and how to handle a child - because they may not have had the opportunity to interact with little children or toddlers before. It gives them confidence – if they happen to be in my situation and have a first child like me a year after the end of school, it’s invaluable.”