Bowled over by Volunteering

8 Apr 2022 | Articles

Bowled over by Volunteering

Brian Feng is almost a synonym for the word polymath. The Year 12 King’s College student is a jack of all trades – football player, an LTCL-level piano musician, a reading tutor, and a Cambridge examinations student. In celebration of Student Volunteer Week, Brian shared another passion of his: volunteering.

“Work done on a volunteer basis is more meaningful as it comes from the heart”. Through trying various types of volunteering, Brian learned he thrives where he can connect with people, noting that the trees he once planted did not provide great conversation!

He discovered lawn bowls in Year 8 and joined the Remuera Bowling Club soon after. As time went on, he realised some of the maintenance aspects of the club were getting harder and harder for the patrons to handle. Brian liaised with the club president and his peers to arrange doing some voluntary upkeep at the club, especially around the garden (a switch from planting trees to removing them!).

“COVID-19 has made it easy for us to disconnect at times – community service can play a restorative role in forging connections again, especially with those in need”.

Brian sees volunteering as a great way for young people to realise their potential and experience how rewarding it can be. He recommends volunteering with friends and giving everything a go. “By doing community service, you find your place in the community”. He also encourages organisations to accept student volunteers based on the energy they can bring.

On a personal level, Brian especially enjoys time spent with more elderly members of society due to the life lessons they share. An example he shared was when he was disappointed following a test. An older lady was able to help him shift his mindset on dwelling on the past to focus on how to do better next time.

No man is a volunteering island - support from senior role models around Brian has also been pivotal. He credits King’s College Rev. Gareth Walters and Rev. Onosa'i Auva'a for driving a strong volunteering culture and encouraged his peers to join him at the club. The chaplains regularly demonstrate the importance of service, such as supporting students to engage in reading programmes at local primary schools during the periods set aside for religious studies. Vicki from the Bowling Club also played a project manager role to ensure they were not hedging their bets on whether something was a weed or not!

Brian is one of many thousands of students celebrated as part of Student Volunteer Week (4-10 April 2022). For more information head to: https://www.studentvolunteerweek.nz/


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