In the lead-up to the 2014 Volunteer Wellington Employee Volunteering Awards, we will share profiles of some of the six judges who are reviewing award nominations.
Meet Drew Hadwen.
Drew talks to us about personal experiences with volunteering, why employee volunteering is important in New Zealand and reasons for being involved in the awards.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve pretty much always worked in the community sector, in both voluntary and paid roles. I currently work on Events and Promotions at the Cancer Society in Wellington. I’m representing the Board of Volunteer Wellington on the judging panel for these awards.
What is your personal experience with employee volunteering?
Through my work, I’ve been involved with a number of employee volunteering projects – projects that we don’t have either the people power for or the time and resources to achieve by ourselves. Projects have included things like making participant packs or cooking breakfast at Relay For Life, or pre-packing the fabric daffodils and bunching fresh flowers for Daffodil Day. We’ve also had the benefit of the skills of a telemarketer to develop our fresh flower sales campaign for Daffodil Day, which was fantastic and saw a marked increase in funds raised.
Why do you think employee volunteering is important in New Zealand today?
It gives businesses an opportunity to demonstrate their social responsibility and connection to the local community. It gives community organisations the opportunity to benefit from resources and skills that they otherwise may not have. Employee volunteering gives the two sectors the chance to share their expertise and form ongoing partnerships. Employees themselves are able to feel supported by their employer and can do something other than their ‘everyday work’ while making a positive difference. I think employee volunteering is important on so many levels and I look forward to seeing the trend towards skill-based employee volunteering growing here too.
Why did you decide to get involved in the Volunteer Wellington Employee Volunteering Awards?
These awards are a great way to increase awareness of employee volunteering and to recognise the value of employee volunteering programmes. I really like so much about employee volunteering and am excited to have the chance to be the Volunteer Wellington Board representative on the judging panel for these awards.
What kinds of things are you hoping to hear from entrants?
I’m hoping to see entries that demonstrate the benefits of employee volunteering to both businesses and community organisations alike and that show clear, positive outcomes.