Volunteering: We want more youth and men to volunteer - VolCan

Volunteering: We want more youth and men to volunteer - VolCan

Lend us a hand, mate, says Richard Brewster, strategy and finance manager, VolCan

Volunteering Canterbury (VolCan), which has grown manifolds since its inception in 1988, recruited 566 individual volunteers and 548 group volunteers, ran 35 events and networked with almost 80 not-for-profits (NPOs) last year. This information was shared by the office bearers at the VolCan's Annual General Meeting held last month.

The organization performs four main roles. First is to recruit volunteers across all areas of the third sector. Second is organising workshops, trainings and network meetings for its member organisations. Third is promoting volunteering in schools, colleges and offices. Lastly, collaborate with various non-member partners encouraging inclusiveness within volunteering.

“Our experience in the field tells us that its mainly the elderly and females that do volunteering. That’s why we want to call our youth and male members of the society to lend us a hand,” said Brewster, adding that VolCan was involved with 16 youth projects last year with over 472 attendees.   

The AGM ended with Glenda Martin outreach and marketing manager of VOLCAN sharing her experience of volunteering for a few weeks in the South East Asian nation of Laos.

Volunteering in NZ

There are approx 97,000 NPOs in NZ which contribute 2.6 per cent to the national GDP or 4.6 per cent when volunteer labour contributions are taken into account. This is almost equivalent to the construction industry. Of these organisations 90 per cent employ no staff and as such they rely solely on the work done by volunteers in order to operate.

Source: State of Volunteering in New Zealand 2015, Volunteering New Zealand.

When the Girl Guides were looking for somewhere for 600 girls to volunteer in January 2016 for their week long jamboree, they contacted Volunteering Canterbury. VolCan found suitable projects and facilitated the event. In collaboration with Off-the-Wall, the city council graffiti removal programme, 300 girls created lasting murals at the Linwood Community Gardens. Other girls sanded down and varnished benches gifted to the Imagination Station. "This shows the benefits of Group Volunteering, which makes a lasting difference to the community, and makes for a great team effort," noted Brewster. 

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