Volunteers keen to help others

Volunteering Central senior co-ordinator Gillian White working long hours from home and at the...
Volunteering Central senior co-ordinator Gillian White working long hours from home and at the same time child-minding Priya (11) and Barnaby (7) White. PHOTO: KERRIE WATERWORTH
Volunteering Central is concerned there may be people in need of help or support who are for whatever reason not asking during lockdown.

"We haven’t had many requests coming through and it might be because the community is looking after each other brilliantly, but we just want to make sure no-one is falling through the cracks," senior co-ordinator Gillian White said.

Before the outbreak of Covid-19, Volunteering Central was working with 185 community organisations and 1686 volunteers across the Cromwell, Alexandra, Queenstown Lakes and Wanaka region.

Ms White said some of those organisations had temporarily stopped because they could not carry on with their normal volunteering activity; her main focus had switched to liaising with councils and their emergency response teams to co-ordinate "spontaneous" volunteers.

She said all the volunteers were screened and reference-checked, and best practice guidelines for volunteering had been implemented to make sure boundaries and barriers were maintained between both sides.

So far, 447 people had registered to be volunteers in Central and Queenstown Lakes and there had been 112 requests for help.

kerrie.waterworth@odt.co.nz

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