In praise of volunteers

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Saturday morning. The birdsong is slowly exchanged with the chatter of families arriving.

The customary aroma of sausage and onion competes with the cooler morning air.

The draw is written up, timetable set, and practise went well during the week.

Setting up and warming up, the coaches give their talk.

The whistle blows and the cheers from the sidelines carry in to the day.

Kids’ winter sport is a great reminder of why we volunteer.

National volunteer week came to a close on June 22. As a nation, we used the week to recognise and celebrate the more than 1.2 million Kiwis who give up their time and offer their talents to enrich their communities.

opportunity to acknowledge our volunteers across our district contributing to making Waitaki the best place to live, work and play.

It’s great that we celebrate our volunteers one week a year. But while we are doing that, let’s remember that it’s not a one week a year thing – it’s all year, and our community would not be the same without it.

So if you know any amazing people within your community who may be unsung heroes who you think are worthy of being recognised with a Citizens’ Award for the work that they do, then I encourage you to complete a nomination form to ensure they are considered.

Nominations are open on the Waitaki District Council website for a month from July 1.

If you’ve never volunteered, I challenge you to find something you’re interested in and give it a go.

Studies show that volunteering offers great benefits to ourselves, our family and our community.

Volunteering can help reduce stress, find friends, make connections within our community, learn new skills and even advance our careers. Giving to others also helps maintain our mental and physical health.

We have fantastic cultural facilities, including the Waitaki libraries, Forrester Gallery, museum, our historic archives and the opera house. Recreational facilities like the town pool, too, are all run better by volunteer help.

If you would like to get involved, get in touch.

Thanks again to all our volunteers.