Over 1000 Plunket volunteers help make the difference of a lifetime in the first 1000 days

Plunket is paying tribute to over 1000 volunteers in communities across New Zealand on International Volunteer Day.

International Volunteer Day is an annual United Nations-led initiative that recognises the contribution volunteers make in our communities both locally and globally.

This year the theme is 'Volunteers Act First. Here. Everywhere' and celebrates the efforts of volunteers around the world who provide support and help in times of instability, disaster and crises.

"Plunket was founded by Truby King with the support of volunteers," says Christine Lake, Plunket New Zealand President. "They provide an integral link to their communities, as we saw in the Kaikoura earthquake in 2016 and the flooding in Edgecumbe earlier this year when volunteers were there to support families displaced during such a stressful time."

"Our volunteers also support many of Plunket's community services such as parent groups, playgroups and education programmes. We thank every volunteer for generously donating their time and skills to ensure our communities stay connected."

Following the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes there was significant population growth in regional towns such as Darfield. The local Plunket volunteer committee realised their Plunket rooms, which supported a number of community groups, needed more space. Through their fundraising efforts, the refurbished building was recently re-opened providing a multi-purpose space for families and community groups.

"There are many examples throughout New Zealand of the amazing work our volunteers do which is why Plunket developed a volunteer strategy to focus on supporting those who make time to provide services and support to local communities," says National Advisor Volunteers Maia Faulkner.

Recently Plunket staff and volunteers worked together with local Police to check over 90 car seats for local families in Christchurch in just over an hour.

Plunket also receives support from local knitters, with a recent call out resulting in over 2012 garments being donated to new babies and their families.

"We understand that volunteering is a commitment for people in today's busy environment, and we want to ensure they feel supported in the work they do for local whānau. Plunket is committed to volunteering because we know that children are more likely to thrive when they grow up in connected communities", says Maia. 

5 December 2017

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