As a full time IT specialist, relaxation and a stress free job could seem like a far away dream. But Chalaka Salpadoru has found during the one-hour periods he spends working as a Volunteer interviewer at Volunteer Wellington he has been able to experience a job without the pressures of the IT world.

Volunteering became a change from the usual everyday work as well as something that continuously showed Chalaka multiple benefits that could not be found in his full time work.

‘I was able to see the impact that volunteering has on the community through referring the many volunteers to a variety of organisations,’ he said, referring to the 400 community organisations Volunteer Wellington work with.

Inspired by the many benefits of volunteering, Chalaka had the idea to run a seminar called ‘Let’s Volunteer’ to encourage others into volunteering.

Backed by Amy, Claude, and Mayumi – the other Wednesday evening volunteers – discussions began about what they’d include, how they’d promote the event and what their goals were.

‘It provided me with really useful communication and leadership skills as I worked through the process of organizing the event,’ Chalaka said.

Exceeding the original aim of 10 people, a multicultural group of 11 from countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Argentina and, of course, some New Zealanders, attended the seminar.

The atmosphere was friendly and welcoming and one attendee even exclaimed, ‘If this is what volunteering is like it will be a highlight’.

During the seminar the benefits of volunteering to volunteers and society were expressed through moving stories of what volunteers had gotten out of volunteering. Information was also provided on how to start volunteering, where to look for roles, and what to expect as a volunteer.

Attendees were able to see how meaningful volunteering can be, whatever role or task you’re doing – big or small – you’re still contributing to the whole.

Written by Lydia Pincott

Attendees at the 'Let's Volunteer Seminar' learning about the wonderful world of volunteering.

Attendees at the ‘Let’s Volunteer Seminar’ learning about the wonderful world of volunteering.



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