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Editorial

Queenstown would look pretty different if there were no Volunteering Managers.

November 4 2019 by Gillian White

Queenstown would look pretty different if there were no Volunteering Managers.

Every year on 5th November, International Volunteer Managers Day is celebrated, and this year marks the 20th year that managers of volunteers have been celebrated around the world.

At Volunteering Central we promote, support and strengthen volunteering around the Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes District and see this as a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and recognise the work of managers and leaders of volunteers, who are often the unsung heroes of the volunteering community.

We often hear volunteers being described as ‘the heart of their community’, which we agree with wholeheartedly, however the efforts of many of these volunteers would not happen as efficiently and effectively as they do, if it wasn’t for the volunteer managers who lead them.

A volunteer manager’s ability to lead, motivate and support volunteers to make a difference in communities across the globe is inspiring and we see it each and every day here in the Wakatipu.
Volunteer managers are as diverse as volunteers themselves and manage people across a huge range of roles. For some it’s their profession and for others they are volunteers themselves often taking on the role on top of work, family and other interests and commitments.

Either way, whether paid or unpaid, the team at Volunteering Central support volunteer managers who strive to ensure that their volunteers have the best possible experience and can make the biggest impact possible within their organisation and community. International Volunteer Manager Day is a fantastic chance to showcase the work that often goes by unnoticed by these leaders of volunteers.

The Wakatipu has a huge range of volunteer groups – the local Rotary, Lions or Altrusa, the Outreach Therapy Reading volunteers (and their dogs!) in the local library, the individuals preparing a hot lunch at Wakatipu Senior Citizens every Friday, our community’s emergency service volunteers, volunteers giving up their Saturday morning to plant trees with the Wakatipu Reforestation Trust, trapping with the Wakatipu Wildlife Trust or cleaning the lake front with Sea Shepherd and the hundreds of volunteers that give their time to local sporting groups and international events – I could go on all day but you get the gist! All these volunteer groups require a strong volunteer manager who strive to ensure that their volunteers have a meaningful and rewarding role, that volunteers realise the impact they are having within their community and that they feel valued and respected for giving up their time and sharing their skills.

So please join me in thanking our community’s volunteer managers this week – as our communities would look very different without them in it.

To find out how Volunteering Central can support your volunteer programme contact them at hello@volunteeringcentral.org.nz or find out more at volunteeringcentral.org.nz

Gillian White - Volunteering Central Senior Coordinator

- Gillian White
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