Volunteering: Promoting Happiness and Social Connectedness

20 Aug 2015 | Articles

Volunteering: Promoting Happiness and Social Connectedness

Why volunteering could be the key to promoting happiness and social connectedness in Auckland.

This weeks NZ Herald article highlighted that Aucklanders are not nearly as socially connected as we could be. One of the insights being that more involvement in volunteering can promote happiness amongst residents.

Cheryll Martin, General Manager of Volunteering Auckland, an organisation that refers volunteers on to voluntary groups, goes further.

“Volunteering is a fantastic means of getting to know people and ensuring that our communities are a great place to live. One of the reasons Denmark rates so high on the scales mentioned is because of their high level of volunteering”.

Ms Martin has seen first hand that volunteering can directly increase social connectedness and at the same time achieve charitable aims.

“The good news is that volunteering in on the increase in our city. That’s shown by the growth in numbers of people who come to Volunteering Auckland looking for opportunities to help”.

Ms Martin believes that not enough community groups are reaching out to volunteers for help.
“Right now we are reaching out to Community Groups,” says Martin, “We’re asking them to talk to us. Come to us for volunteers. Or simply to talk about how they may engage volunteers more effectively”.

The team at Volunteering Auckland have this advice for Aucklanders who want to get involved in volunteering or need volunteers.

If you are considering Volunteering check out the Volunteering Auckland website and apply online or talk with one of their advisors.

If you are a community group in need of support, Volunteering Auckland has volunteers approaching us every day who want to help. We can also help develop your volunteer programme so that you can respond to volunteer enquiries effectively as well as help you identify good voluntary opportunities..

If you are a business interested in volunteering our Employee Volunteering programme can help get your staff involved in their communities.

Ms Martin thinks that there has never been a better time to volunteer or a greater need for Auckland to embrace volunteering.


Reactions from our member community groups:

“Volunteers are the backbone of Special Olympics New Zealand. They transform lives. They come from all walks of life and from all different backgrounds and they fill many different roles. Some volunteers tap into their professional expertise and offer help in areas such as accountancy or publicity. Others use their fundraising or photography skills.”
Trudi Bridges, Regional Team Leader, Special Olympics NZ

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“I’m humbled by the amount of good people out there that are prepared to work in our community without remuneration, we have had such good experiences with our volunteers who believe in what they are doing and work for no pay not because they are not valued but because they are priceless.”
Linda Thompson, CEO, Asthma Auckland

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”Volunteers are a very important part of the delivery of what we do – our programme of gardening and cooking is a fantastic and rewarding opportunity for volunteers and children alike, to share skills and to learn together. For us, Volunteering Auckland has connected our schools with an incredibly diverse range of people - a mix of ethnicities, backgrounds, skills and ages. As an organisation they have expanded our networks in the community.”
Anne Barrowclough, Executive Officer, Garden to Table Trust

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“When clients see our volunteers, of all cultures and ethnicities, it inspires them to volunteer too and shows them that we are inclusive organisation.”
Sally Chu, Volunteer Coordinator, Auckland Regional Migrant Service Inc


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