‘I always felt I was treated as one of the staff – properly equal. By volunteering I found a home away from home.’
Neha Saoji was talking about her volunteering experiences soon after arriving in Wellington as a new bride and a new migrant and leaving her home state of Maharastra, India for the first time.
Her comments illustrate how a legacy for the future is created when those who manage volunteer programmes are creative, aware of different motives and encompass diversity; in short are effective ‘managers of volunteers’.
To celebrate the important place in the community of those who lead volunteer programmes International Volunteer Managers Day is celebrated globally every year on 5 November. By having a day set aside community organisations aim to celebrate and keep inspiring these key players in the voluntary scene.
Volunteer Wellington, in association with the Wellington Division of the Cancer Society, Sue Hine an independent advocate for volunteer leaders, and KPMG (a business member friend of Volunteer Wellington) is organising an interactive breakfast session ‘to inspire and connect’ this Tuesday 5 November.
Facilitated by Dr Karen Smith of Victoria University the session will take the form of a ‘speed-meet’ to find out what inspires people about working with volunteers. Volunteer Wellington will also be launching their new mentoring/peer support programmed, aimed at providing professional and development to managers of volunteers.
And given the somewhat auspicious occurrence that Tuesday 5 November coincides with the Melbourne Cup this year, they will be including some Cup fever to add fun to the day.
Around 60 representatives from organisations large and small and who cover the spectrum of management and administration will participate. Focus on the importance of the role of those who manage, coordinate, lead volunteers is the order of the day.
Says Julie Thomson, manager member services Volunteer Wellington: ‘The more organisations we work with who encourage those who manage and lead their volunteer programmes to be creative, able, multi-faceted and aware of diversity and ways to include difference, the healthier our communities will be – the happier our society will be.’
For more information about Volunteer Wellington’s training events and mentoring programme and how to go about volunteering ring 499 4570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.