This is the third year that Volunteer Wellington, with sponsor Nikau Foundation (formerly the Wellington Region Foundation) has run a challenge which has corporate staff teams volunteering in increasing numbers to work with local communities. The projects they take on could mean dirt under the fingernails, paint spots in the hair, running a cricket day for children – brainstorming a fund-raising event.
Organiser Judy Kerr says the number of businesses signing on for repeat contributions is steadily rising; as well as a diverse group of teams new to the ‘challenge’ experience. Last year around 50 projects took place between February and June. This represents 1300 volunteers.
Judy Kerr is the one who matches corporates interested in being involved with the community projects. Community groups register their needs with Volunteer Wellington and Judy assists with the design of a day-long ‘challenge’ (sometimes longer if numbers from one company are large). Once a team has chosen a project which is of interest, she then gives the volunteer team of employees a full briefing of where to go, what they will be doing and what they will need to wear. While many businesses choose projects as far removed from the business sector as serving soup and sandwiches in a drop-in centre, scrubbing up gravestones at the Bolton St Cemetery, loading a bus with food donations for food-banks, a growing number are looking at skills-based projects to make their contribution. ‘They are looking to assist community groups with marketing and business plans, IT technology and professional input into boards and governance.’
If you are interested in more information – either as a community organisation or a small, large or medium-sized business – ring Judy Kerr on 04 4994572. Or go to our website for more reading www.volunteerwellington.org.nz