"National Volunteer Week takes place June 21-27, and Heritage New Zealand is taking the opportunity to celebrate all the wonderful volunteers and thank them for their ongoing support of the organization."
The Media Release is as follows:
Volunteers acknowledged for National Volunteer Week
National Volunteer Week takes place June 21-27, and Heritage New Zealand is taking the opportunity to celebrate all the wonderful volunteers and thank them for their ongoing support of the organization.
The theme of this year’s Volunteer Week is ‘There is a place for you to volunteer’ – a message that couldn’t be more appropriate according to Highwic’s Visitor Services Coordinator, Christiane Pracht.
As the team leader of 30 volunteers working at Highwic in Newmarket, Christiane is a great fan of her team.
“Working with our volunteers is an aspect of my role that I really enjoy,” she says.
“They’re such a dedicated bunch of people with diverse backgrounds and interests. Everyone has such a lovely way of engaging with our visitors and it is great to see how our visitors respond to their enthusiasm and energy in return. In short, it’s a win-win!”
Highwic’s 30 volunteers make a huge contribution – the equivalent of an estimated 6000 hours a year – and to celebrate this, Christiane is organising daily volunteer ‘shout-outs’ on Highwic’s Facebook page during Volunteer Week in which volunteers will be able to share what they do at Highwic, why they do it – and what makes it so much fun.
“Our volunteers are incredible – we have seven front-of-house volunteers who show visitors around, along with conservation volunteers who are coming to the end of their two-year training programme in specialist cleaning of collection items. Our garden volunteers are constantly propagating, planting and weeding – and all their hard work comes to fruition in the garden in spring and summer!”
Kitchen volunteers are also making quite an impression on Highwic’s restored coal range, taking interpretation beyond signage and pictures, and providing hands-on opportunities for visitors to revive some fine old traditions – including baking a variety of Victorian cakes and other goodies.
“We recently hosted a group of students learning English as a second language who had the opportunity to bake scones with our volunteers. Both the volunteers working with the students found it was a great way for them to overcome the language barrier and engage with the students by sharing a bit of New Zealand’s heritage with them,” says Christiane.
“The students really loved it too. They took lots of photos and enjoyed eating the product of their labour, with one saying what they’d made was much better than what they buy at the supermarket!”
These things are only possible with a dedicated team of volunteers who have a professional, winning attitude.
“Volunteers allow the extraordinary to happen beyond what is possible with our limited staffing resources,” says Christiane.
“They’re a hugely important part of what we do.”
Caption: Highwic volunteer Katrina van Boheemen baking with children using Highwic’s restored coal range.
Follow our volunteers on Highwic’s Facebook page during National Volunteer Week on www.Facebook.com/Highwic
If you’re interested in becoming a Heritage New Zealand volunteer contact your nearest Heritage New Zealand office - www.heritage.org.nz