News and Updates

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Green School Taranaki Looking for Volunteers for On-site Jobs



Times they are a changing – COVID-19

By the time you read this we will be in lockdown level 4.

There are so many to thank for being available to support us.

There are many employed that are there because they work in the Essential Services and we thank them for continuing to support us all.

There are also those volunteers who are continuing to support our Essential Community Services – yes they are the people who deliver meals on wheels and some who have been making meals and delivering to those less fortunate in our society.

There are also volunteers helping out the Civil Defence Emergency Management team, also Age Concern, Grey Power, Salvation Army, Foodbanks and of course St John and Red Cross, Kai Kitchen, Kai and Aroha and Kai Cupboard to name a few.

As I write this we are not sure how all of this will look and how many volunteers will be needed to support this lockdown. However if you are reading this and think I am interested in helping in some way – it could be by phone or delivering meals on wheels, or it could be virtual like contacting people via Skype or FaceTime.

Have you thought about setting up a phone or text tree and contacting your neighbours / elderly friends or relations to check that they are ok?

If you have been police vetted for your current job it would be really helpful if you could make contact with us as there are many roles that you could help with. If you have not been police vetted, don’t let that put you off putting your hand up, there will be roles for you as well.

So what next?

Marie at Volunteering New Plymouth will be working from home so please in the first instance email:,  if you do not have access to an email account then please text 027 541 0577 and she will contact you as soon as she is available. There will be more to know about what is needed by the time you read this and she will be able to give you more information on what roles have become available.

Please everyone stay safe in these next few weeks and please be kind to yourself and others.



Parafed groups have been established throughout New Zealand (Taranaki is part of the National Body) to provide opportunities and encouragement to all people with a physical or visual impairment, to participate in life to the full in the areas of sport and recreation.  In Taranaki this is done in partnership with Sport Taranaki by creating awareness, developing opportunities for participation in sport, promoting junior programmes and encouraging participation in activities like wheelchair basketball, boccia, swimming, athletics, Allabilities golf, wheelchair Turbo Touch Rugby, youth sports club, Halberg junior disability games, cycling, surfing, school projects.

Supporting this work Taranaki has a Coalition of 12 Strategic Partners which includes South Taranaki District Council, Ministry of Social Development, New Plymouth District Council, Taranaki Disability Information Centre Trust, IDEA (Intellectual Disability Empowerment in Action), DPA NZ (Disabled Persons Assembly NZ) and Parafed Taranaki. This coalition works to monitor and implement the strategy's action plan which provides a framework for greater collaboration in working together towards a non - disabling society. By working together the strategic partners are able to achieve more sustainable outcomes for people with disabilities, and provide greater equal opportunities to participate.

The Parafed committee prefers to have nine members, consists of people with Business and Sport backgrounds, as well as members with a disability and a Sports Development Advisor, who are supported by the Strategic Partners.  Currently this committee, which meets monthly for approximately 1 hour to 2 hours maximum at the Sport Taranaki office, is looking for more members.  If you have an interest in becoming a Board Member and / or you have an interest in the disability sector; this could be the opportunity for you. You do not need to have knowledge of the disability sector however the current members will educate you.

If you are not sure – there is always the opportunity to have a conversation about what is involved and attend a meeting before making any commitment. So if you have the time and think you could support this group, or if you are curious to learn more please contact Wendy or Marie at Volunteering New Plymouth on (06) 7588-986, email: or phone or text 027 541 0577  they will happily help you with information to take the next step. 


“In Tune Waitara” Friday Afternoon Entertainment – Age Concern Taranaki

Age Concern Taranaki is a charitable organisation dedicated solely to people over 65. They promote dignity, wellbeing, equity and respect and provide expert information and support services in response to older people's needs.

They are active and advocate on relevant issues and work to ensure older people stay connected with their family, friends and community and are often the first port of call for older people in our community. Age Concerns offer expertise and knowledge of all available services for older people as well as social activities.

The majority of older people are not severely lonely, but findings show that 10% of New Zealanders aged 65-74, and 13% of those aged over 75 feel lonely all, most, or some of the time. This is important, not just because loneliness is painful, but because having inadequate social relationships has been shown to be as bad for health as smoking. Loneliness has also been linked to increased likelihood of entering rest home care.

There are many older people who spend much of their time in isolation and getting out and enjoying a sing a long and a cuppa can make an immeasurable difference to their health & happiness.

Age Concern Taranaki has taken on the role of keeping Friday afternoon entertainment happening in Waitara. (For many years this was operated by several great people under the umbrella of Waitara Age Concern – no connection to Age Concern Taranaki).

The new revitalized entertainment is being facilitated and coordinated by Pauline Julian who also is responsible for similar entertainment events in New Plymouth. To ensure that this is successful, there is a huge need for local volunteers to support Pauline and the current volunteers, so that there is a greater flexibility for all volunteers involved. The more the merrier and I believe that these afternoons will grow with the new and exciting things that Pauline has planned.

So Waitara, Bell Block, Urenui, Tikorangi, Hurangi, Lepperton or New Plymouth people – if you have a couple of hours available on Friday afternoons from 1pm – 3.30pm  -please contact us.

What will you be doing? There are several tasks and none are onerous – meeting people and giving them name badges, helping with afternoon tea serving and clean up and enjoying the company of our dear older folk.

On the 1st and 3rd Friday is live entertainment, sing along, lucky spot gifts and refreshments and the 2nd and 4th Friday is a Drop in Café – with a cuppa and snacks with a  quiz or a game or a good old chat. These afternoons are great and all for just a gold coin donation.

So with those couple of hours on Friday that you have this week – why don’t you rock on down to The Senior Citizen’s Hall, Warre Street, Waitara and check it out and see if it is something you would like to be part of.

You can also give Wendy or Marie at Volunteering New Plymouth a call for more info on (06) 7588-986, email or phone or text 027 541 0577 they can register your interest to help..  How easy is that and what a way to make a real difference to someone’s day.  Call today and join the other local volunteers.We are waiting to hear from you.


GIRLGUIDING NZ Taranaki - Leadership Opportunity

Here is an absolutely fabulous opportunity for fun loving, artistic or sporty volunteers from all backgrounds of life and with skills to share, to step up and become Leaders for Girl Guiding Taranaki.

To join the current enthusiastic volunteers you need to be at least 18 years old.  Don't worry if you are a 'little over' 18 - anyone 'young at heart' will be welcomed with open arms.  Your contribution will be to share your skills to help young girls and women develop to be the very best they can.

If you are a parent or caregiver looking for an adventure with your children or other students, you may be a student wanting to help out in your community, or perhaps you would just like to develop your own leadership experiences so that you can improve your personal growth - then you need to contact us today!! 

Being a Girl Guide leader doesn't need to be for life, but the friendships formed often are.  You can choose to work with girls from age 5 years right through to 18  - age 5 - 6 (Pippins). 7 - 9 (Brownies),9 - 12 (Guides), and 12 - 17 (Rangers).so what a chance to join in this life changing organisation. Meetings run for up to 2 hours once a week during school term time.

There is a need for a number of general leaders in a variety of locations throughout the New Plymouth District but also currently a specific need for a Pippin leader in Merrilands, a Ranger leader in Westown and Guide Leaders in Inglewood  So many great opportunities. It is not necessary for you to have any prior experience in Guiding to be suitable for these roles. There are online qualifications available and Leadership training too.

We know that these really are worthwhile and rewarding roles so come on we want to hear from you – so contact Wendy or Marie at Volunteering New Plymouth  on (06) 7588-986, phone or text 027 541 0577  email at


Taranaki Cancer Society:

The Taranaki Cancer Society provides leadership and advocacy in health promotion, support, information and research.  The Society relies on Volunteers to help them with many of their tasks and to make sure that people who volunteer are not over worked a database of people is used to spread the workload.  The society’s special support volunteers provide practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families. 

At the moment new volunteers are need to be added to this database.  The Society has a group of volunteers who drive patients to and from appointments such as doctor, dentist etc., currently more people are needed for this important role.  For this role you are required to have your own car, current insurance, registration and warrant of fitness and a clean full car driver licence.

You will receive a driving assignment (which most often will be during daylight hours and Monday to Friday) and you then arrange with the patient or carer a pick up point and time which will allow good time to reach their appointment. If required you will escort your patient to the reception for their appointment. You are then free till their end of treatment – when you will be contacted by the office to collect them and return them to their pick up point. Time commitment is variable depending on your availability.

You will be reimbursed travel on completion of assignments and / or completed statistics form.

So if you have some hours to spare, have a caring, sensitive nature and are able to relate to people from all walks of life as well as being willing to respect confidentiality, then please call us


Did you know that no Government funding is received and fundraising is essential in providing core services in health promotion, support and information by Cancer Society Taranaki?  All monies raised in Taranaki stays in Taranaki so your help will be of tremendous value to the wellbeing of your community.

On March 28th,2020 the popular Relay for Life will again be held at TET Stadium, Inglewood between 10.30am and 10.30pm and already volunteers are being sought for a number of roles including; transporting material to set up headquarters, helping with Hands of Hope Flag, Survivors lunch, face painting and countless other small jobs.  If you are keen to be involved in this fantastic day then we want to hear from you too. POSTPONED IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19:  NEW DATE 31 OCTOBER 2020


If you just want to get out and about to enjoy the company of some great people and help the community at the same time and either of the above options sound like something you would like to do? Then please contact Marie or Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on (06)7588-986 / 027 541 0577 or email  They are keen to hear from you.


Red Cross Shop

Have you thought about volunteering?

Do you have a few hours that you could offer?  – It could be once a week or a month.  Have you checked out the very popular retail shop in Fitzroy operated by Red Cross?

Are you interested in helping support the work that Red Cross do locally?

The Fitzroy shop is more of a small boutique style shop with items priced for the budget conscious and / or those who are choosing to purchase previously owned rather than buying new. People who explore find amazing buys on the racks and shelves, and return often as there is no knowing what will be found on the next visit.

This little shop has lead the way and been plastic bag free since May 2017 so you are offered a cool upcycled bag for a gold coin and a great way to help the environment.

If you have a creative side and an interest doing something with that creativity this may be the place to discuss options to help bring diversity to the recycling of items donated for sale.

There are some new and exciting things happening and this little store is about to announce some great news about becoming bigger and brighter. Would you like to be part of the exciting new things that are happening for the Red Cross shop?

There are plenty of opportunities for volunteers to gain experience in retail. Right now more friendly volunteers are needed to help offer that first rate service that the customers have come to expect.

The shop is open Monday to Friday 9am - 4.30pm. Saturday hours are 9am till 3pm. The shifts are from Monday – Saturday morning 9am – 1pm and afternoon 1pm till 4.30pm. If you are able to offer any hours during these times please consider joining the wonderful team, especially if you have an interest in retail and a few hours to spare. There are many tasks available, so if the front of house retail is not your thing there will be tasks that will suit your skill set that will help the team get those goods out and into the shop for sale.

An additional incentive may be offered to those who; show commitment, a willingness to become part of the team as well as demonstrate a positive attitude;  this comes after a qualifying period and you may be offered the opportunity to study towards an NZQA qualification in Retail Level 2.. The other bonus of course is that experience with a volunteer organisation could lead onto paid employment elsewhere as many employers give preference to people who have volunteer experience on their CV and there are many examples of this.

So are you looking to gain new skills and a possible qualification?

Or just wanting to get out and about to enjoy the company of some great people and help the community at the same time. 

Do either of these choices sound like something you would like to do? 

If you answer yes then contact Marie or Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on (06)7588-986 / 027 541 0577 or email They are keen to hear from you.


Victim Support - Volunteer Support Workers:

Would you like to help?

Victim Support is a free 24/7 community response to someone dealing with in some cases the worst time of their life. This free service provides emotional and practical support, information, financial assistance, referral to other support services, and advocacy for the rights of victims. This support helps victims find strength, hope and safety in the face of grief and trauma. Support might be provided immediately after the incident, or the following day, and may include a follow-up days, weeks and sometimes months later. Volunteers deliver direct support in the victims’ home, at police stations, at the scene, in court and in the community.

Victim Support volunteers are everyday people, who offer their time, skills and life experience to supporting victims of crime and trauma, some volunteers are retired, many have full-time jobs, they include men and women of many cultures and beliefs – they are all people helping people.

There is a selection process, and comprehensive training is provided to ensure volunteers are equipped for the varied and often complex and compassionate work. Completing the initial training is a requirement to become part of this special team. The next Introductory Training Programme is April 4th and 5th and April 18th and 19th, and it is a requirement that trainees attend these sessions. Modules include understanding grief and trauma, supporting those bereaved by suicide and sudden and traumatic death, psychological first aid, self-awareness, self-care, and practical case management skills, plus more.

There is the ongoing monthly training, and a chance to be part of a professional, supportive and caring organisation. This environment adds to the benefits of becoming involved in your community and knowing that you could make an enormous difference in someone's life when they most need it.

What skills and attributes do you need? Firstly, you must have a car and a current driver’s license. You will be the sort of person who is a good listener and communicator, be able to remain calm during times of high stress, have compassion, patience and really want to make a difference to people in your community at a time when they may be at their most vulnerable. You will need to have access to, and know how to use a computer.  You will need to have time to commit to roster duty, monthly ongoing training and case management.

Consider for a few moments if you have these skills, the time available, and want to be part of a great team. If the answers is yes - or if you are not sure and just want to know more, please contact Marie or Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth phone (06) 758 - 8986, email: or cell 027 541 0577 they want to hear from you to help you take the next step.


Salvation Army Family Store: 

The Salvation Army offers a ‘hand-up’ to Kiwis in need, providing services such as food banks, budgeting courses, employment training, addiction services, community garden projects, emergency services and much, much more. They are an organisation that relies on the generosity of others to provide these valuable resources to the local community. Their Family Stores are a wonderful part of their organisation and raise a large amount of money that is then distributed back into the community.

In New Plymouth the Family Store is on the lookout for friendly volunteers willing to become a part of the wonderful team who work on a roster system from Monday through to Saturday.  You can work at times to suit you and any time that you can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Currently they are looking for people who can work behind the counter, who are passionate about people and customer service. If you have previous experience that would be wonderful however there is the opportunity to gain transferrable cash handling and retail customer service skills. Full training will be provided and a reference to support you in moving on to your future career. You may also have the opportunity to enrol in a retail course that allows you to gain NCEA credits and a certificate in retail and customer service.

Are you a person who would like to help the Salvation Army help our community? Or are you curious to learn more?  If so then please call Wendy at the Volunteer New Plymouth on (06) 7588-986 or email her at so that contact can be arranged.


Citizens Advice Bureau:

The Citizens Advice Bureau is a branch of a national organisation Citizens Advice Bureau New Zealand (CABNZ), This organisation is dedicated to providing all members of our New Zealand community with independent help and support on any matter that they may require.

The aims of CABNZ are to:

1) Ensure that individuals do not suffer through ignorance of their rights and responsibilities, or of the services available, or through an inability to express their needs effectively. 

2) Exert a responsible influence on the development of social policies and services, both locally and nationally.

To achieve these aims CAB offer accurate, comprehensive and up to date information, advice and advocacy that is free, confidential and impartial.

New Plymouth CAB branch is open from 9.30am – 3.30pm Monday through Friday and is staffed by trained volunteers. There are 10 shifts per week which are from 9.30am – 12.30pm and 12.30pm – 3.30pm and two volunteers (Bureau members) are rostered on each shift. The Bureau offers a free legal service one nigh per week, usually a Monday and usually from 7.15 – 9pm and one Bureau member is rostered to assist the duty solicitor on this night.

To become a Bureau member it does require commitment, there is a requirement to perform a duty once a fortnight, and in general a commitment of approximately 10 – 15 hours per month is needed. This includes assisting with the day to day running of the Bureau and participating on at least one of the teams which could consist of organising information resources, maintaining the information systems and other technology, organising social gatherings, giving talks to other community groups, publicity or learning and development.  Monthly learning and development sessions are held every third Wednesday 12.30pm – 2pm and a volunteer must attend 7 out of 10 per year. There is flexibility in all this and you are able to select your own shifts to fit with your lifestyle. So if you think, I would like to do that but I am wanting to travel for a few weeks or months and / or want to spend time with family (and don’t want to let people down or have to get someone to take my roster ) this could be the perfect role for you as there is the ability to be rostered out of those times .

There is a process of Police check and signing a declaration of confidentiality to be completed and once accepted there is an induction period and the observation sessions then after successfully completing these key steps there is a probation period and finally Accreditation and Volunteer Certificate is awarded.

The friendly people at the Bureau are extending an invitation to prospective volunteers to go along and spend some time in the office to see how it all works, so if you would like to visit and find out more about the role CAB and the Bureau members play in our community then please contact Wendy or Marie at Volunteering New Plymouth on (06) 758 8986, email: or phone or text 027 541 0577 so that we can arrange for your visit.


Boomerang Bag Sewers & Supplies

Boomerang Bags started in Australia but has since spread worldwide. The original idea was to borrow, and return the hand-made bags, instead of using single-use plastic bags, however now we want people just to grab it, and reuse it rather than return. You can find the bags at some local 4 Square stores and (places where you grab up to 10 items like Bin Inn in Waitara) as supplies become available  These bags are FREE and there are probably no two the same and are very useful for many things not just our shopping.

Lauree Jones Regional Coordinator of Taranaki Enviroschools said "This Taranaki Enviroschools' initiative is to try to support the elimination of single use plastic bags and so this is just one way of doing that,"

Marie of Volunteering New Plymouth has been working with Lauree since January 2018 and there have been many sew a thons since then, the latest being yesterday - which was a great day.

Currently Volunteering New Plymouth is looking for people to become part of a team of home sewers. As Lauree says  "You just need a sewing machine or an overlocker and an iron, and time, enthusiasm and a smiling face," For those willing to help, we will hold a session to demonstrate how they are made from the pattern and from there the creativity begins.

"People can do it as a one off or they can do it over a long period of time,".

We currently are in need of fabric to maintain this great activity – so if you have a stash of fabric that you have had for years and you are not likely to now get to use or it can be old sheets, pillowcases, table cloths, table napkins, jeans, trousers, skirts, also old curtains or nets that are torn .Really any fabric / material  that is clean and could be used to make bags we are interested in – we want to reduce that fabric landfill problem.

If you're interested in sewing, or donating materials such as fabric, sewing cotton, machine needles or even a sewing machine that is sitting around unused in good working order and or if you think you would like to help in some other ways perhaps or just want to know more, please contact Wendy or Marie at Volunteering New Plymouth on (06) 7588-986, email: or phone or text 027 541 0577



Big Brothers Big Sisters is a successful international mentoring organization. BBBS makes a huge impact in the lives of the young people, aged 6 to 18, who are on the programme.

In Taranaki there are matches in Opunake, Hawera, New Plymouth, Waitara and everywhere in between. Big Brothers Big Sisters have been operating in New Plymouth for 12 years and have made over 300 matches.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is operated by a Trust in partnership with New Plymouth Police and Tamarind Taranaki Ltd.

Behind the scenes great care is taken by Mentoring Coordinators in matching each volunteer mentor and young person to ensure a consistent one-to-one relationship is formed. These friendships support the young person to develop their confidence and resilience as well as giving them opportunities to try new and exciting things.

One Hour. Once a Week. One Life.

From volunteer mentors Big Brothers Big Sisters ask for a commitment of a minimum of one year to their young person, giving them a valuable investment in their lives for a length of time that research has shown improves confidence and resilience. During their time together mentors will endeavor to see their young person each week for around an hour to do fun activities and build a friendship.

We do ask that mentors also hold a full drivers licence in order to pick up and drop off their young person.

If interested please contact Marie or Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on (06)758-8986 or 027 541 0577 or email them at to take the next step and find out more.

Thank you for supporting those who make such a positive contribution to our local community.