Stadium boon for organisations

Forsyth Barr Stadium may be a white elephant to some Dunedin ratepayers, but it is turning into a windfall for community organisations.

Nearly $43,000 has been donated to community groups since the stadium opened, through an initiative to use volunteer staff who offer their time in return for a donation to their organisation.

Armourguard has recruited about 500 volunteers from local community groups to work as stadium ushers and ticket scanners at events.

The company then pays the volunteers' wages to their organisation.

"This is a great fundraiser for local groups and helps to increase the casual workforce for events," Dunedin Venues Management Ltd chief executive Darren Burden said yesterday.

More than 20 groups, including schools and kindergartens, had so far benefited from the initiative.

"Community volunteers are essential for running events and make a huge contribution to the stadium," Mr Burden said.

"Armourguard uses volunteers for all events, with up to 100 required for large events like Elton John or a test match. There is no limit on how much a group can do. The more work groups want, the better. All staff receive customer service training, so we maintain the quality of experience for our patrons."



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