Dive! Tutukaka Team on "Mulch Mountain" Puke Kopipi, Ngunguru
The temperature may be dropping, but the enthusiasm and uptake of Volunteering Teams in Northland has already hit a high this month.
In recognition of National Volunteer Week (18-24 June 2017), Volunteering Northland asked a number of businesses and organisations to rally a group or team to volunteer on a project at a non-profit for a half day during the week. The response was phenomenal, with teams ranging from large corporate organisation's leadership teams and big business groups, through to other non-profits, migrants and student crews taking part.
Some teams are using their business skills to help a community group, others are gathering teams to carry out projects as diverse as book-sorting to tree-planting, painting, cleaning and even unpacking 1000's of Teddy Bears. Over 24 teams have already committed to help out various non-profit organisations all over Northland.
Manager of Volunteering Northland Bart van der Meer said the response was incredible, both from the non-profit's project ideas to the teams wanting to volunteer. He says the key this year was simply asking people, such as getting organisations to come up with short term projects and asking teams to come on-board. “We know that most people volunteer because someone asked them to, this year our role was to start the asking and then be a conduit between the various groups”.
The aim of Team Volunteering is for groups to have fun, make valuable connections, all the while helping to build a connected community, and to boost a team's morale through an enriching activity. “By the end of the day, a team will have achieved something worthwhile for a good cause”.
This initiative also highlights how 'episodic or short term' volunteering is a growing trend globally, evidence shows that with today’s busy lifestyle, volunteers are looking for flexible arrangements and are often willing to commit in the short-term. (State of Volunteering Report, VNZ 2016).
- Trish Clarke (Volunteering Northland)