Plunket volunteers making a difference daily

Plunket volunteers are making a difference in communities across New Zealand each day, by being there to support new babies and their families.

Plunket Trust Chair Christine Lake says National Volunteer Week provides an opportunity for Plunket to recognise and thank its 1300 volunteers for the amazing work they do.

Christine joined Plunket as a volunteer in 2000 to meet people and she still volunteers for Plunket, now in a governance role. She enjoys the friendship and fun, as well as the opportunities it has provided to develop skills and confidence.

“I’ve been privileged to gain different perspectives of families and communities needs through my voluntary roles at Plunket. I’ve used the skills and confidence I have developed to talk to mums and communities about what Plunket does and how Plunket volunteers do invaluable community service.”

Christine says her volunteering has been rewarding and at times challenging.

“Plunket has such a reach into so many homes, but I believe we can do more through collaboration with other organisations to address poverty and inequity issues to level the playing field so every child gets the best start.”

North Shore mum Loraine McInnes started volunteering by identifying a need and facilitating a coffee group for caregivers and their new babies in Greenhithe.

“I had moved from Scotland via London and Sydney to New Zealand and thought there is a need for a place where new families can meet and support each other.”

The coffee group has been a great success, with those attending developing friendships and strong support networks.

Last year Loraine also started volunteering for Plunket’s home visit programme, where volunteers go to the homes of new babies and provide whatever support is needed. “A lot of the parents or caregivers are really tired, so it’s just checking in on them and making sure they are ok.”

She says volunteering is rewarding. “I’ve made some really lovely friends through it and I’ve been able to show people that parenting is fun and to enjoy each day.”

Plunket volunteers help facilitate a range of parent support groups and playgroups, run toy libraries, child safety and education in schools programmes, do home visits and raise funds.

Visit www.plunket.org.nz to register your interest in becoming a Plunket volunteer.

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