Celebrating Volunteers
 Volunteer week is 18-24 June and Waiuku Family Support Network (WFSN) want to celebrate and acknowledge the support they receive from their many volunteers. They currently have more than 25 volunteers working with the organisation which, in the past year has equated to more than 1575 hours of time.
WFSN offer counselling, social work, budgeting and support to families in the local community and they have helped 2800 local individuals over the past 12 months. Without the time given by their dedicated volunteers they would not be in a position to offer these services.
WFSN’s new Centre Manager, Kym Maynard is a great example of how volunteering can lead to exciting new career pathways. When going on maternity leave five years ago Kym left a career of sales and marketing management that was based in the city. It involved frequent travel and regular 50 hour working weeks, and that was before taking into account the traffic on the southern motorway.
The decision not to return to her previous job was an easy one as it did not fit with family life. But she knew she would have to keep herself busy so began volunteering with the Franklin Parents Centre. It started out with a small role coordinating social events for Mums to connect and get to know each other. As she had more time available it grew to incorporate grants and funding, Treasurer, marketing and many other hats over her time with the organisation.
“The skills learnt volunteering helped me to pick up small work contracts with local non for profit organisations such as Franklin Parents Centre and Well Women Franklin where I was able to work from home, which fitted perfectly a having a young family. These experiences have enabled me to develop new skills and put me in the position I am in today. I have a rewarding job, family friendly hours, no traffic jams and work within an organisation that makes a real difference in the community. How lucky am I? I don’t believe I would be in my current role today if I had not said yes to volunteering.”
Volunteers are vital to the 27,849 registered charities in New Zealand who, without them, would not exist. Waiuku Family Support Network are looking for volunteers to help out with a number or roles, those interested can contact Kym on 09 235 9099 or email manager.wfsn@xtra.co.nz 
Left to right volunteer Barbara Boase, Kym Maynard Centre Manager, Christine Hann, volunteer