Citizens Advice Bureau volunteer Kathy Buckham at the
Queenstown office. Photo by Christina McDonald.
Every day volunteers worldwide contribute countless hours
to different causes, and today their efforts are celebrated as
part of International Volunteer Day.
December 5 was adopted as International Volunteer Day by the
United Nations in 1985 to promote volunteer contributions to
development at local, national and international levels.
In Queenstown, the Citizens Advice Bureau is staffed from
9.30am to 4.30pm every week day by volunteers. A volunteer
for nine years, Kathy Buckham said volunteering was rewarding
and a great way to ''meet the locals''.
''It's very rewarding when you help someone ... when someone
comes in in tears and we help them out, it's very
Mr. Buckham became involved with volunteering after ''a
friend talked me into it when I retired''.
It was ''good to give something back''.
She had experience in law offices which helped but said
comprehensive training was given to volunteers when they
She is now training a new generation of volunteers.
Volunteering Central links volunteers with organisations in
the Central Lakes district and this week it is encouraging
all volunteer managers to stop and thank their volunteers.
Central Lakes volunteers help a diverse range of causes such
as restoring native habitats, contributing to wildlife
breeding programmes, assisting people facing personal
challenges, keeping emergency and rescue services in
operation, fundraising, recycling, and assisting at arts,
cultural and community events.
Mr. Buckham said while she loved volunteering at the Citizens
Advice Bureau, there were ''a whole lot of other worthwhile
places that need volunteers''.
''There's an awful lot of professional people in this town
with a lot of time to give back. I would hate to stop.
"People interested in volunteering can contact Volunteering
Central at, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
or by calling (03) 443-1699."