Volunteers help Plunket to make the difference of a lifetime

Today is International Volunteer Day and Plunket is paying tribute to the thousands of its volunteers around New Zealand who support the charity.

International Volunteer Day is a United Nations-led initiative that celebrates the one billion-strong volunteer workforce around the world. The theme for 2016 is “Together we can”, which the organisation says emphasises the power of community and that by working together, we can achieve great things.

“Volunteers founded Plunket in 1907 to ‘help the mothers and save the babies’ and more than a century later, volunteers are still at the heart of our services for families,” Chief Executive Amanda Malu says. “Today, there is great diversity in how volunteers are giving their time.

“One of our volunteers, Ella Wilson, has just celebrated an incredible 50 years with Plunket. Ella’s contribution has been by way of committee membership around the country – in Lower Hutt, Dunedin, Greymouth, Oamaru, Tawa and Queenstown. It is wonderful, dedicated volunteers like Ella who help Plunket to make a difference in the lives of our Kiwi kids and achieve our vision that in the first 1000 days we make the difference of a lifetime.

“Following the recent earthquakes, Kaikoura volunteer Marz Simpson is having an amazing influence in that community as the driving force behind the creation of a Plunket drop-in centre for parents of young children. The people who are best equipped to help support families are often other families in the same community.

“And Gwenda Holster Dowler has just received a Kiwibank Local Hero award for her work in the Auckland community.  For the past 20 years Gwenda has been involved in almost every fundraising effort undertaken by Plunket in her community.  She is a wealth of knowledge and a power-house of enthusiasm.”

Plunket has developed a volunteer strategy with a focus on supporting those who make time in their busy schedules to provide services for their local community, says National Advisor Volunteers Maia Faulkner.  

“We want to make available to people the kinds of opportunities they want to volunteer for. Volunteers today are more interested in project volunteering for a specific period of time, or for a specific purpose.

”Plunket is committed to volunteering because research and our own experience show that children are more likely to thrive when they grow up in connected communities where families give their time to help each other. We’re grateful to every volunteer who has contributed their time to help families.”

If you are interested in getting involved in your local community, gaining new skills, and helping Plunket to make the difference of a lifetime, contact your local Plunket office or visit plunket.org.nz

Tags: 0 Comments Posted by Serene Ambler on 5 December 2016

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