Council celebrates volunteers’ vital role in community

Volunteers flocked to the Waihinga Centre in Martinborough this morning for the South Wairarapa District Council’s Big Shout Out to volunteers in the community.  

“Volunteers play a critical role in the welfare of our community from those who deliver food parcels to our first responders to those people who take Wairarapa to the nation with events such as the Martinborough Fair and Featherston Booktown Karukatea Festival,” said Mayor Martin Connelly, at the morning tea event.

South Wairarapa volunteers gather at the Waihinga Centre in Martinborough, Mayor Martin Connelly centre (fourth from left) with Matua Abe (on right of Mayor)

“We want to thank all of the volunteers in the district as well as the organisations that support them. We invited those organisations to bring one of their unsung heroes along today. We acknowledge it is difficult to include absolutely everyone and we want to build on this event by celebrating more volunteers in future years,” said Mayor Connelly.

Over 100 volunteers from the entire South Wairarapa district were invited to the morning tea event from a vast range of organisations, including foodbanks, the Wairarapa Cancer Society, volunteer fire brigades, South Wairarapa Rotary, Featherston Community Centre, Age Concern Wairarapa, the Friday Knitting Group, community patrols and many more.

Volunteering New Zealand has named June the month to mark its annual Big Shout Out to volunteers nationwide.

This is the first year that the South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) has celebrated its community’s unsung heroes, hidden gems and volunteers.  

The Big Shout Out is a New Zealand spin on the Big Help Out, which was part of King Charles’ coronation in the United Kingdom, during which he invited people to volunteer due to a decline in volunteers since covid. New Zealand has not experienced the same decline but many organisations do need volunteers, including the Wairarapa Cancer Society.

“We encourage everyone in the South Wairarapa community to take advantage of June’s Big Shout Out and thank the treasured volunteers they know and consider volunteering themselves,” said Mayor Connelly.

Mayor Martin Connelly and Violet Edwards at South Wairarapa District Council’s Big Shout Out to volunteers

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