National Volunteer Week. All wrapped up but the heart beats on.

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We would like to express our sincere thanks to everyone who jumped on board and supported our National Volunteer Week campaign this year. Volunteering Central ran a campaign to raise awareness of volunteering in the region and this was led by inspiring community leaders who stepped up to the challenge to volunteer their time at a range of organisations. We had some fantastic publicity around their involvement and plenty of interest in their activities.

The theme for 2018 was Volunteers – The Heart of our Community | Mā tini, mā mano, ka rapa te whai.

This sentiment was very much alive across the region when activities commenced early in Queenstown with Mayor Jim Boult volunteering with Sustainable Queenstown’s Dishrupt to help reduce waste at the fabulous LUMA Festival of Light.  

Fresh home cooked food was the focus in Wanaka when Annabel Langbein baked for Food for Love to distribute to those in need in the community.  Whilst an active community was the priority for endurance athlete and coach Dougal Allan when he volunteered at Wanaka parkrun on a chilly Saturday morning.

Versatile Building saw the value in Cromwell Bike Park and have donated their time and a shed to store equipment. Whilst our cultural heritage kept Cromwell Community Board inspired as they took a trip down memory lane with Moreish Kitchen at Cromwell Museum’s volunteer celebration.  

In Alexandra, music, dancing and laughter was shared when Mayor Tim Cadogan volunteered with his guitar at Living Options on the Wednesday morning.  Staff at Affleck O’Meara showed they are more than just accounting superheros as they released their staff to volunteer as natural heritage kept their spirit alive as they planted over 40 native trees with the Project Gold Community Group and the Haehaeata Natural Trust in Clyde.  

Returning to Wanaka later in the week and the focus for Olympic bronze medalist Zoi Sadowski-Synnott  was to inspire girls to follow their dream and aim high by sharing her Olympic story with Wanaka Girl Guides. To finish the campaign, we returned to Queenstown where the older generation were in our thoughts as Mayoress Karen Boult joined the volunteers at Wakatipu Senior Citizens for their mid winter Christmas lunch.

These events were captured beautifully by an array of professional photographers who joined the volunteering spirit to share their skills with us and we are so grateful for their support in raising the profile of organisations across the region. (see the full list of photographers below)

The media followed us every step of the way with stories shared regional print and digital media as well as interviews on Radio Wanaka, Central Radio and More FM. The Central and Wanaka App’s supported us throughout June and our Facebook  page saw nearly 8000 people liking, sharing or commenting on our posts!

We know volunteering keeps the heart of the Central Otago Lakes District beating and we want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for their support in raising awareness of organisations, and the special volunteers behind those organisations that make our communities such wonderful places to live. Thank you.

Paul Green Photography

Photos by Leigh

Lisa Hill Photography

Stacey Downer Photography

Alpine Image Company

Wendy Bowie Photography

Nadine Cagney Photography