Four weeks into the job at Volunteer Wellington and I’m starting to find my feet. There’s obviously a lot to learn about an organisation that’s been around for over 20 years, has over 400 members and nearly 3000 volunteers registering for voluntary roles each year. As the member capability coordinator my role is to work with our members, to support them and their organisation to create a mutually fulfilling volunteer programme. What I mean by this is that both the volunteer and the organisation engaging the volunteer have a positive experience, utilise their existing skills, learn and share new skills and form new relationships.
Working in Volunteer Wellington’s office has been a great place to see all of this in action.
When it came time to send out our last newsletter I saw a steady stream of volunteers coming into our office, take their seats and get folding and stuffing envelopes. Of course this was the task that they had come to do, but as I observed them all at work I learned that it was about so much more than stuffing envelopes.
The volunteers formed connections and relationships as they chatted about their backgrounds. Some had left lives half lived in other countries to start afresh in New Zealand. Others had recently exited the public service and were looking to share their expertise with the community. One could not speak English, but happily chatted away in Russian to a fellow compatriot. Another had been coming into Volunteer Wellington for twelve years to help fold and send the newsletter out to our members.
As I saw the envelopes packed off to the post box, I had a sense that when they reached their final destination, they would not only tell the stories printed on the page, but also those that were shared across the table as they were being neatly packaged up for posting to our members.
Charlie Devenish, Member Capability Coordinator
Volunteer Wellington | Te Puna Tautoko
Please note that I work 8.30am – 2pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday