South Dunedin gets volunteer hub

Looking forward to the launch of the new South Dunedin volunteer hub next week are (from left)...
Looking forward to the launch of the new South Dunedin volunteer hub next week are (from left) dedicated volunteer Peter Lim, Volunteer South manager Leisa de Klerk, South Dunedin Community Network administrator Grace Hannah, network IT support Aman Jamwal, and network manager Robyn McLean. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD
A volunteer hub is to be launched in South Dunedin next week.

Set to officially open on February 16, the joint project is part of Volunteer South and the South Dunedin Community Network’s ongoing efforts to support the wider Dunedin community with volunteer connections.

Kaituao o te Taitonga/Volunteer South manager Dunedin and Waitaki Leisa de Klerk said the South Dunedin volunteer hub would work to support local people to find volunteer opportunities within their own community.

"Hopefully, this will make volunteering more accessible across the whole community," Ms de Klerk said.

"It will make it simpler for people to volunteer if they don’t have to travel around the city to do so, and it will be great for South Dunedin as well."

The new volunteer hub will be based at the South Dunedin Community Network rooms, 278A King Edward St.

Network manager Robyn McLean said it was exciting to be embarking on the joint project with Volunteer South, as it would help to further develop the network’s community contacts.

"We are still working to establish ourselves in the community — we became incorporated and registered as a charity at the end of 2020," Mrs McLean said.

"It’s going to be a great step forward for us."

With only three staff to keep things moving along, the network itself needed volunteer support to do its work, including organising community hui, and planning this year’s South Dunedin Street Festival.

Ms de Klerk said the choice to open the volunteer hub at the South Dunedin Community Network space was a simple one.

"There is no better place in South Dunedin for people to come and talk about their passion for South Dunedin and what they want to get out of life."

Volunteer South had seen an increase in volunteers using volunteering as a way to change career paths, or gain experience, and being in the South Dunedin Community Network space would enable more than just volunteer opportunities to happen, she said.

Since the beginning of 2020, Volunteer South had also opened a hub in Mosgiel as well as centres in Waitaki and Invercargill.

“We are focusing on locals. Making connections at the local level means that we are open, transparent and supportive in the ways that are most meaningful to that community," she said.

"Having a team member in your community means you get those in depth conversations that — despite our technological advances — just don’t happen over a website or email."

Taieri electorate MP Ingrid Leary will formally open the new South Dunedin volunteer hub next Tuesday, February 16, at 10am, 278A King Edward St.

The public opening event will be followed by a morning tea attended by Ms Leary and other members of the Dunedin and South Dunedin community.

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