Spring Back


October is Spring - what better time of the year than now to create a new beginning and new habits.

As one of the WHO Age Friendly New Plymouth group we are proud to support this Spring Back Pike ake te ora promotion

This promotion had its beginnings from thoughts to encourage social connection and community engagement among seniors within Taranaki hence this month of October as October 1st is International Day of the Older Person.

It has been great that the Government has stopped the traffic lights system and the mask requirements have changed – it seems like a great time to start getting out and about. Initially is will probably seem strange (I have found it strange not wearing a mask where we have done so for so many months), however I also see there are a number of people who are still wearing their masks and that is great to see as well.

This month as our part of the promotion we are supporting the Friends of Pukekura Park and their Buggy rides.

These are operated from Monday – Thursday and Sunday from 10.30 – 3ish the cost is just $ 5 per adult and $2 per child. This includes a commentary and guided tour of the park

What a lovely way to start your outings during Spring – contact your friends (who you haven’t been out with for a while and join one of these rides around the park then perhaps go for a coffee / tea and chat at a café close by.

There are several Organisations that are joining together to include their activities in this Spring Back promotion during October – so look out for this Spring Back logo and also check out the Posters 10 Tips to Encourage Social Connectedness that will be put up around the region.

This is a Taranaki wide initiative so there will be many events that are going to be included in this promotion

If you think you may like to check them out but not sure and would like to learn more check with where you saw the poster or please contacting Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, text / phone mobile 022 571 4228 or email  to take that next step.



Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards 2022



We are delighted to have received the nominations that we currently have in our office.

However, due to the hospitalisation of one of our committee and another being on scheduled leave, we are extending our closing date till October 7th at 1pm.

A reminder that there are 7 choices of categories this year which are:

1) Youth, 2) Individual, 3) Couples, 4) Long Service, 5) Team 6) Tuku Iho (Three (3) or more generations from one family / whanau –They can each volunteer for different organisations or the same one).

This year we are introducing a new category – because our Award Day is near International Volunteer Managers Day we are going to request that you nominate a

7) Volunteer Manager for a Recognition Award. This can be a paid or unpaid role (we know that most people who work / volunteer for a Community Organisation – Not for Profit - For Purpose – go the extra mile and often if they are paid do extra hours that they are not paid for )

So we are asking you (as a volunteer or Management of an Organisation / Group / Club ) nominate your favourite volunteer manager for an Award this year – This may be the only chance to do so as this is not a guaranteed category for future.

The nomination forms and criteria are available by checking the Volunteering New Plymouth website: - or contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, 022 571 4228 or email

So request the nomination package now and get the application started as this year we are requesting a photo is enclosed with each nomination.

Please note that the closing date is Friday October 7th, 2022 - that is just over (1) one week away so don't delay. We are waiting to hear from you.


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 night 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.

When asked about their experience as a volunteer some comments have been:

“it’s the fact that no two days are the same”

“it’s incredibly rewarding being a CAB volunteer”

“On any given day, we could be asked about anything under the sun - from tenancy rights, locating a support group or having documents signed by a JP”

“We work alongside our clients with the aim of empowering them.”

“We have a great team of well-trained volunteers,”

“We’ve all learned lots of skills”

“It’s also great just to be actively involved in our community, using our knowledge and experience to help people and having a bit of a laugh together sometimes as well.”

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 at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, email: or Phone/Text 022 571 4228 so that we can arrange for your visit.



We are very excited to be working with Helen of New Plymouth District Council to help expand the volunteer numbers for this year's TSB Festival of Lights 2022/23.

Every year the Events Teams work really hard to bring together the events within our community. They could not do it as well as they do without the great support of awesome volunteers - who give of their time to maintain the friendly atmosphere of these events. It is always a fun and lively experience and those who have previously volunteered most often come back year on year.

The Festival starts mid December 2022 through to end January 2023. Shifts are 8.00pm – 11pm.

You are provided with a free festival t-shirt and there is a great wrap up party at the end of the festival. You have rostered nights on, and you can select which nights of the week you prefer and also list dates you are not available. You are paired up for the night – so if you have a friend (who is also volunteering) and you would like to be together then you can request that too.

We are making a call out to those who have not yet registered to help. Registrations close early October 2022. If you have the digital technology to register here is the link:

This will take you direct to the sign-up form on the website.

We know that there are people who would really enjoy being part of this great event and perhaps have not seen it advertised or have not registered because they are not in the digital age and are not able to register online.

We have an alternative for you - if you phone us we can take your details and register for you.

There are some criteria to volunteering:

Volunteers must be a minimum of 16 years of age and be prepared to work from 8:00pm – 11pm for a minimum of 6 nights during the festival.

There are two volunteer roles at the 2022 / 23 Festival – seated and mobile.

  1. Seated – Festival Hub where you meet and greet the public, talk about what’s on, hand out maps, brochures and encourage them to fill in the survey and enter the competition to WIN.
  2. Mobile role – Various locations including the Fernery – hang out at the various interactive features and engage the public, talk about the feature, artist and show them how to use it! – You get a chance to spend the night at 2/3 features over the course of the night in this role.

So please, if you think you would like to help or just want to know more, contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, email: or Phone/Text 022 571 4228 so that she can register your interest to help


Annual Volunteer Recognition Awards 2022

"Many Backgrounds – Stronger Together" 

Each year Volunteering New Plymouth holds a Volunteer Recognition Awards.

Last year it was in June during National Volunteer Week. This year we are going to hold our Award Ceremony on November 12th 2022. This is the nearest Saturday to International Volunteer Managers Day which is 5th November 2022 that our venue is available.

The aim of the Awards is to highlight the volunteer effort that goes into helping not-for-profit / for purpose groups achieve their potential. It recognises individual and team achievement, while publicly acknowledging all voluntary effort. These awards are also an opportunity for all community organisations to publicly express their thanks to the volunteers.

Who Can Be Nominated? Any volunteer or volunteer team working for a not-for-profit / for purpose organisation, group or club can be nominated. The awards are open to all volunteers in the New Plymouth District. If you are unsure if that someone you believe deserves an award can be nominated and / or if your organisation / club / group are eligible, please contact Wendy.

This year there are six categories which are: Youth, Individual, Couples, Long Service,

Team and Tuku Iho (Three (3) or more generations from one family / whanau – They can each volunteer for different Organisations or the same one).

This year we are introducing a new category – because our Award Day is near International Volunteer Managers Day, we are going to request that you nominate a Volunteer Manager for a Recognition Award. This can be a paid or unpaid role (we know that most people who work / volunteer for a Community Organisation – Not for Profit -  For Purpose – go the extra mile and often if they are paid do extra hours that they are not paid for ) So we are asking you (as a volunteer or Management of an Organisation / Group / Club ) nominate your favourite volunteer manager for an Award this year – This may be the only chance to do so as this is not a guaranteed category for future.

Don't miss out on this chance to recognise those special people in our community. All nominees (who are not Awarded) will receive a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ to mark the occasion of their nomination for the awards.

The nomination forms and criteria are available by checking the Volunteering New Plymouth website:  - or contact  Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, Ph/Txt 022 571 4228 or email

So, request the nomination package now and get the application started as this year we are requesting a photo is enclosed with each nomination.

Please note that the closing date is Thursday September 22nd, 2022 - that is just (2) two weeks away so don't delay. We are waiting to hear from you.

This special Recognition Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday November 12th 2022 in the Council Chambers, Liardet Street, New Plymouth starting at 10.30am. Volunteering New Plymouth has invited the Mayor to present the "Certificate of Recognition" to the successful volunteers.


WAITARA Bite size Volunteering

Have you ever thought about volunteering?

Do you know how to start or where to start?

Do you have some time that you could offer a community group?

Do you have a few hours a week or a fortnight or even a month?

CAN YOU HELP?  Currently we have several Organisations that are looking for people to help with various activities  - it might be that they are looking for someone to help once a month for a couple of hours. There are also some events that are a one off - that we would love to have you on our Volunteer list to contact when we get a call at short notice.

Benefits of Volunteering

1) Connects you to others - one of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity.

2) Is good for your mind and body - helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. Can combat depression and increase confidence and make you happy.

3) Can advance your career - you can try out a new career without making a long-term commitment

4) Brings fun and fulfillment to your life - this is an easy way to explore your interests and passions.

There are many roles that do not require specific skills prior to starting; in fact, the most valuable assets that you can bring to any volunteer effort are compassion, an open mind, a willingness to pitch in wherever needed and a positive attitude.

If you have always thought of volunteering but were afraid to because you wanted to have flexibility to visit family, travel, study, or work  - think about looking at bite size volunteering - this is the way volunteering is evolving.

There is now also micro volunteering - yes that is even smaller than bite size and that can be something like writing Christmas cards for the lonely or responding to a survey.

Do any of these sound like something that you would like to dip your toes into and look at?  Or a little daunting, or an exciting opportunity?

If you would like to know more and or like to meet someone to talk about the possibilities / or put your name forward please contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, email: or phone / text 022 571 4228 so that she can put you on the list of interested potential volunteers.



The KickStart Breakfast Programme is operated by Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (“Fonterra”) in partnership with New Zealand Health Association Limited trading as Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing Company and The Ministry of Social Development together. “The Partners“

2009 KickStart Breakfast launched in 200 decile 1-4 schools in term one.

The programme provided fresh AnchorTM Mega milk & Sanitarium Weet-BixTM

2019 Celebrated three huge milestones! •

** Welcomed our 1000th school to the programme •

** Serve our 30 millionth breakfast •

** KickStart Breakfast celebrated 10 years

2022 engagement 

** Have served more than 50 million breakfasts

** More than 42,000 children / tamariki & rangatahi have breakfast every school day

** Welcomed almost 1400 schools to the programme

** Over 2,000 volunteers support these breakfast clubs

KickStart Breakfast is a community partnership initiative helping tamariki achieve their best by getting a kickstart to their day. KickStart Breakfast provides kai and guidance to help schools to run a successful, sustainable breakfast club to meet their needs.

There are several schools within the north Taranaki district that are currently involved in this programme and other that are looking to start in the next couple of terms.

We are putting out a request for people who may be interested in looking to support their local school in this programme.

Schools report a variety of benefits to children participating in KickStart Breakfast

*: Improvement in class concentration levels

*  Improvement in general health and well being

*  Improvement in children‘s behaviour

*  Building positive relationships with peers and teacher

This programme is an awesome support to our schools to help our little people start the day with full tummies and energy to be open to learning. This is why we are looking to find more volunteers for all areas of our New Plymouth district. If you are interested in offering a few hours per school term week to support this awesome programme – we are looking to support a school near you.

We are working with the KickStart Breakfast Relationship Manager to support this – so there are more schools coming on board all the time – so if it is not right for you right now – but you could be interested in the future; think about giving us a call or sending a message to indicate your interest and we can update you as things change. If you want to know more you can also check out their website 

If you are curious to learn more and / or interested in becoming a volunteer then please don’t hesitate - contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 7588-986, email: or phone or text 022 571 4228 to take the next step.


Spontaneous Volunteers

We have been asked if we can gather a team of people who are keen to plant native trees.

The site that these trees are to be planted on is a steep hillside, so the fitness level you will need to be sturdy on your feet and able to steady yourself to be able to dig the hole and plant the trees that are approx. 1 metre tall.

I am told (on good authority that the young people who have already completed some of these plantings have managed it; So, we are probably looking for a few people with an interest in ensuring that we are increasing our native trees on land that would otherwise not be productive.

There is currently no set date for this.  We are looking at having a couple of youth groups join us so we will have some young helpers and we are expecting that it will possibly take approx. 2 hours – depending on the numbers we have join us.

If you are curious to learn more and / or you are interested in becoming a spontaneous volunteer for other such projects then please contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, Email: or Ph/Txt: 022 571 4228 to take the next step.


Companion Volunteers - Seasons for Growth

The Seasons for Growth Program (grief and loss education and support) runs education programs to support 6–18-year-olds who have experienced a loss or change in their family through death, parental separation or divorce, migration, imprisonment, fostering, relationship break-down or any similar significant change.  

Small groups of 3-6 participants, facilitated by screened, trained and police vetted adult volunteers, known as Companions, meet once a week, for an hour, for 8 weeks, for activities and discussion on topics including change, feelings, personal stories, and self-care.

Groups run throughout Taranaki each school term and the region is currently recruiting volunteers to train as Companions for 2022.

Important personal attributes include:

Training is being planned to run over two days on a Friday – Saturday or Saturday – Sunday in October (dependent on Volunteers) and is the Children’s and Young Peoples Programme.

Groups run throughout Taranaki during each school term and in 2020 there were 225 youngsters participated in a group somewhere in the province.

If you are curious to learn more and / or you are interested in becoming a Companion please contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, Email: or Ph/Txt 022 571 4228.


ASCOT Day Centre Volunteers

ASCOT Day Centre at Te Maru Village is a homely, friendly, fun-filled activity centre for older adults who still enjoy personal independence in their own homes but find it difficult to get out and about on their own. It is in the Hurdon area of New Plymouth and on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10.30am till 3pm you will find small groups gathered enjoying programmes that are organized by their lovely co-ordinators; with input from the attendees.  Each day there can be a different group of attendees and their ages vary from the very young early sixties and range up to the late nineties. They are a great mix of older folk who enjoy being part of a very welcoming centre.

Volunteers are vital to the service and the Centre is putting out an invitation, to people who are interested in enjoying the company of some of our Communities' treasures, to come along and assist with the activities on these days.  As well as being willing to be involved with the planned activities you would assist with the serving of morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea and the clean up after each activity. Volunteer hours are from 10 am to 3.30pm but can be flexible to suit the time volunteers have available. 

If you have a few hours available on one or more of the days, the staff will welcome your help, it can be for a few hours one day a week or fortnight if that is what you have available or more you have more to give. Our volunteers need to be reliable and have a sense of humour that matches the day centre attendees. 

If this sounds like the opportunity that you have been waiting for then call Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986; Ph/Text 022 571 4228 or email


Marfell Community Trust and Marfell Community School

"Rising Achievers Afterschool Programme" - 

Seeking Star Volunteers

A wonderful opportunity is waiting for the right volunteers who are willing to offer a little of their heart to the young people of Marfell.

“The Rising Achievers programme is about community working together to raise achievement of the whole child in a mana enhancing environment.”

Each Marfell Community School students who is enrolled in this special afterschool programme is referred for support in academic and social areas of their wellbeing; alongside being given the opportunity to take part in fun activities and learn new skills.

Whilst in the program they become accustom to an afternoon snack, homework then out to play routine. This routine helps set a pattern to continue with once they move into their Intermediate education and are required to meet the expected national standard.

The programme runs every weekday during the school terms and the volunteers would need to be at the Marfell Community School from approximately 2.30pm until 4.40pm. As with all volunteer roles if you can help out for one day or all five it would be a great help. Every hour you put in makes a difference and rosters will be arranged to suit your availability.

For all who volunteer to help this great programme there will be training given and ongoing support to enable you to offer your time to these young people.

If you think you have the skills required and the time to share with these lovely young people or if you would just like more information contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, email: or Ph/Txt 022 571 4228 to have a conversation about options and perhaps arrange a chat with one of the Trust members who is involved.


A Stitch in Time Saves Nine or More–

Well in this case we are looking this time for knitters / crocheters to help save our planet.

Do you want to do something with the time you will have over the next few weeks or months –now that the cooler weather and winter is coming?

We at Volunteering New Plymouth are all about responding to needs we see in the community.

The latest need that we have learnt of are items to help with the colder weather coming up and also care support toys for children

Currently we have some wool waiting for someone to knit / crochet something with and we understand that there is a need for slippers and headbands - we have other patterns for smaller items like teddies, hearts, puppy and these are always a welcome item for a variety of organisations who are supporting children.

Are you looking for something to do during these colder nights and know how to knit / crochet the basic stitches and can follow a pattern then this is possibly something that you may like to become involved in. 

We are also putting out a call for more wool too, – so before you have your next big throw out – think of recycling that wool to us. if you are unsure give us a call and check.

We are looking to supply Organisations like these with knitted items:

"People can do this as a one off or you can do it over a longer period of time,".

We are looking for people to become part of our home knitting / crochet team. "You just need time, enthusiasm and a smiling face," For those willing to help, we will hold a meeting of new Knitters / Crocheters to a “Knit or Knot” coffee meeting sometime next month to share ideas and  how to hints’ also look at what you would like to make. We have some patterns available – however we are open to any others that people have ideas for and so this get together will be a great time to share ideas and from there the creativity begins.

We are looking to find people who could become part of the team as well as someone who is interested in Coordinating this so that perhaps this could include an ongoing social get together – so if you are interested in doing something from home and can use knitting needles or a crochet hook, we are keen to talk with you.

If you're interested in knitting, or donating wool, it does not matter how much you have – we can use any amount – including part skeins – it can be knitting cotton, Acrylic or pure wool, any ply and any type of wool also if you have, knitting needles or crochet hooks that are sitting in the cupboard  or if you think you would like to help in some other way perhaps or just want to know more, please contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, Ph/Text 022 571 4228 or Email:


Companion Volunteers - Taranaki Base Hospital, New Plymouth

We are very excited to be sharing this new volunteer role.

As we all know Taranaki Base is our local public hospital and the medical staff are under huge pressure and are not able to give quality one to one time to our older people who are in the Acute and Older Persons wards.

This role has been on hold during the previous traffic light system – RED and now that we have moved from Red to Orange, we are hopeful that a brighter green won’t be too far into the future.

We are advertising this role now as there is a need to work through the paperwork and Police vetting and this can take some time – so we are hoping to get all that done so that when these are completed there will be time to have a group induction – So you will get to know others who will be supporting / offering their time to  the older folk who are in these wards 

The Companion Volunteers will provide companionship, emotional support, some distraction and assistance with entertainment for older people on the Acute and Older Persons Health and Rehabilitation Wards at Taranaki District Health Board.

You will have the opportunity to:

Ideally the volunteer will have:

The Companion Volunteers will volunteer on a roster system with two different shift times available seven days a week. The shift times are 11.00am – 3.00pm and 3.00pm – 7.00pm.

There can be some flexibility in the hours to suit the volunteer as long as it can be planned and rostered to work in with others

We are looking for people who are able to commit to one four hour shift a week for a six month period. The reason for this is there will be training given

To find out more and start the conversation then I would encourage you to contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, Ph/Text 022 571 4228 or Email  so that she can register your interest to help


Calling Waitara Residents - Volunteers Needed!

The Waitara Project was previously known as “The Corso Shop” was set-up in response to the idea of providing a recycling venue for Waitara.

At the time of the rebuild of the Waitara dump they proposed to the NPDC - such a centre. However, the NPDC could not envisage what we meant, so they walked away and set-up the first shop at 4 West Quay (in the old garages)

They achieved two things at that time:

They set up 'Just Books and Pictures' at 8 McLean Street - Independent of the 'Main Shop' and exclusively for Books, music and pictures. They moved the Main Shop to 57 McLean Street [The old Sharrock’s Showroom].

Then in 2010 they added a new section onto the back of the 8 McLean Street Shop and combined the Books and the 'Main Shop' together.

All this time they operated as a group within Corso Incorporated.

And now with Corso Incorporated restructuring the National Organisation, all affiliated groups agreed to hold their own legal identity. 

Generally they are open Wed – Fri 9am  - 3pm and Saturday 9.30 am till 12.30pm. They are still at 8 McLean Street.

As I write this they are closed due to volunteer staff covid isolation. This project is totally staffed by volunteers and have been for the entire duration of this project.

 In 2019 they were the recipients of Volunteering New Plymouth’s Annual Volunteer Recognition TEAM Award a well-deserved team to be recognised for their tireless effort.

The money raised through this shop goes directly back to the community in a variety of ways. If you are interested to learn how and where these funds are distributed and if you think you would like to contribute to this effort this is a special call out to you the Waitara and surrounding area residents who may have a little spare time on their hands and are wondering how to put those hours to the best possible use!! This is a great opportunity for people who could sort clothes, and other items that are donated or work on the till or help with pick up and deliveries as the driver of the truck (that you need only your car licence to drive). 

If you can see yourself in one or more of these roles then I would really appreciate hearing from you so please call Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986; Ph/Txt 022 571 4228 or E:



Do you enjoy sewing, have your own machine and some spare time    

A Stitch in Time Saves Nine or More–

Well in this case we are looking for sewers to help save our planet.

Do you want to do something with the time you will have over the next few weeks or months –now that the cooler weather and winter is coming?

Several years ago, Lauree Jones of Taranaki Enviroschools brought the concept of Boomerang Bags to Taranaki. The first of the reusable bags. This was before no plastics shopping bags.

For a couple of years, we at Volunteering New Plymouth were involved in the production and support of these.

Last year we decided to continue with the reusable bags under our own umbrella -Volunteering Bags – we have been working with our current wonderful sewers and have been developing several new templates for the variety of needs the Organisations receiving them have. The bags are in such demand as soon as the bags are delivered to our office, they are back out the door to their new temporary home.

Currently we have material waiting for new sewers. However because the bags and our current sewers are doing such a good job we are now putting out a call for material, any old quilters who have scrap that could be used to make a patchwork bag (we have an awesome sewers who are using small fabrics to make bags), pinking shears, sewing cottons, any old cushions, sheets, pillow cases, curtains – all of these can be used to make bags – so before you have you next big throw out – think of recycling that fabrics to us. Any old net curtains are also used to make produce bags – so if you are also looking at those old jeans to go to the tip – we could possibly use those too – if you are unsure give us a call and check.

We currently supply bags to:

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

We are also looking for people to become part of our home sewer team. "You just need a sewing machine or an overlocker, 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.

We currently have material ready to be cut and no time to get to that task, so we are also looking to find people who could become part of the team as cutters too – so if you are interested in doing something from home and can use scissors or sewing machine, we are keen to talk with you.

If you're interested in sewing, or donating materials such as sewing cotton, machine needles or if you think you would like to help in some other way perhaps or just want to know more, please contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986, phone or text 022 571 4228 or email:


North Taranaki SPCA Op Shop:

SPCA  (The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Incorporated) is New Zealand’s oldest and largest animal welfare charity with 33 animal centres across the country.

New Plymouth SPCA Op Shop helps support the great work of the New Plymouth Colson Road SPCA centre. At both the centre and the shop simply could not function without the help of the fantastic volunteers who donate their time.

The Shop has a new Manager – Carol McCartain and she is very excited to be the new person leading the team of volunteer helpers. The opening hours are currently Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm Saturday 9am - 5pm.

The shop is looking for people to join their great team of volunteers to help out at their Devon Street West (Near the Morley Street lights). They are looking to expand the shop hours and therefore will need extra hands  to accommodate this.

The shop is stocked with quality goods that generous members of the public donate. The goods are sorted by some wonderful volunteers and sold through the shop. The tasks that are involved are receiving goods, sorting of clothes, shoes, art & craft, material and curtains and other items as received.

The skills that would be helpful are:

          a) Decision making             b) Customer service            c) Literacy & numeracy

          d) Good sense of humour    e) Team player

Other qualities that would also be helpful are:

          1) Flexibility                       3) Able to stand for reasonable periods of time

          2) Hands on skills               4) Able to learn on the job

Are you interested in supporting the work that SPCA do locally ?  Are you interested in volunteering for a short time or becoming part of the weekly team ?

Currently the key times that people are needed are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday any time during opening hours – so if you have a couple of hours to spare you could become part of the morning team between 9 – 1pm or the afternoon team between  1 – 3 or if you wished till 5pm. Carol is interested in working around the availability that you have and wants to support you to have a great experience and join the current volunteers who are a great and happy group. Carol is happy to have people she can train to take on some responsible roles within the shop, so there are opportunities to gain great skills.

If you are ready to put your hand up to help, we have got the volunteer option to suit you. If you are available on one or more of those days, could you give a helping hand for a shift a week or a fortnight? Do you have a day or part day with nothing to do?

Would you be happy to be called upon when they need extra hands - If the answer is 'yes' to any of the above questions then please contact Wendy at the Volunteering New Plymouth on (06) 758 8986 or text / phone her cell 022 571 4228 or email  to learn more and/or add your name to the list to help.


Volunteer Visitors

Age Concern is a charitable organisation dedicated solely to people over 65. Their mission is to promote the dignity, wellbeing, equity and respect of our elderly community, and provide expert information and support services in response to older people's needs.

Thankfully, the majority of older people are not severely lonely, but findings from The Social Report 2016 showed that 10% of New Zealanders aged 65-74, and 13% of those aged over 75, feel lonely all, most, or some of the time. We know social connection is so important though; research has found that having inadequate social relationships can be as bad for health as smoking, and that loneliness is linked to an increased likelihood of entering rest home care. This is why Volunteer Accredited Visitors and the time they dedicate to older people is so valuable.

Age Concern Taranaki are looking for caring volunteers who can commit to visiting an older person regularly, usually requiring 1-2 hours per week.

The Accredited Visiting Service coordinator will match a volunteer with an older person who shares similar interests, who they can share stories or do activities with, while enjoying each other’s company. Current volunteers have said that they enjoy the opportunity to get to know their older person, and that they benefit and learn from the experience too.

This role involves face-to-face visits and can currently still go ahead in Traffic Lights Red or Orange, with the understanding that if you or your older person feel uncomfortable with in-person visiting, you may switch to phone calls or zoom/facetime communication (depending on the recipient’s ability).

The protocol for in-person visits is that you wear a mask, social distance preferably by 2 metres, have good ventilation wherever possible, and ensure that hands are sanitised before and after visits. And of course, do not visit if you are unwell.  This is dependent on the requirements of the government at the time and you will be promptly informed if anything changes.

Volunteers will need to undergo an interview and police vetting (which can take up to 6 weeks) so we are seeking registrations of interest now. For your protection and that of the recipients, this role requires that volunteers MUST have a Vaccine Pass.

Following an interview and police check, if you are accepted to the service, you will be given orientation training and then matched with an older person. Once you have visited for six months you will receive your visitor accreditation. 

If you have a warm and friendly manner and enjoy spending time with older people, please contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on (06) 7588-986, email or phone/text 022 571 4228 so that she can register your interest to help.

Call today to join the local volunteer visitor team and make a real difference in someone’s life. Wendy is waiting to hear from you.


Awanui Angels

Have you seen the Facebook posts of Sam Bennett (New Plymouth District Council Councillor) and Marie Riordan (Volunteering New Plymouth Manager) having coffee and posting their meetings on Facebook? Well we can now reveal that we have been working on a project with New Plymouth District Council. This is very exciting as it has taken some time to get to this point and the position we are at now is that we are looking for volunteers.

Volunteers for what, you ask??

We would like to give back to the community by helping keep Awanui Cemetery in tip-top condition. We are looking for some Angels who are interested in looking to help support the Council staff by doing some of the tasks that are not part of their everyday duties.

This project will be very different to the volunteer work done at Te Henui Cemetery as Awanui is a limited-lawn cemetery. We’d like volunteers for year-round weeding, trimming, deadheading, pruning, plant maintenance and perhaps mulching, planting & dividing, and transplanting plants.

We will have specific areas that we are working on only and there will initially set days to start this project off. There will be site safety processes and an induction for each event.  We are looking for all of you who are interested in being part of this project and particularly people with horticultural knowledge. It is not vital that you have this knowledge; however, we are looking to have some people who could be interested in leading this.

If there are a large number of you who volunteer for this project, then we may have teams of Angels involved in on a regular basis or there may be set project days. Because this is all new and we are looking to work with those who put their hand up to become part of this unique project we will work with all those who offer their time and try and may it work for all and ensure that we are able to work with NPDC.

We will have a first meeting onsite with Council staff to inspect the site and the areas we will be working on. No date is confirmed yet as that’s dependent on those of you who put your hand up and what day would best suit. It does need to be during the working week Monday – Friday, however.

Those who are interested in being part of this Awanui Angels: it is preferable that you bring your own hand tools – due to Health & Safety there will be no power tools or spraying allowed by volunteers.

If you are interested in looking into this further please give Marie or Wendy a call at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986 or Marie 027 541 0577 or Wendy 022 571 4228 or email


Bellyful New Plymouth – Meal Delivery

Bellyful has been running for 12 years, with each individual branch running and funding itself. In that time, it has made more than 166,000 meals and fed 30,000 families.

Here in New Plymouth the branch was launched in the first week of October this year and the local branch coordinator has organised the first couple of “cookathons” and had a great response with a good number of volunteers helping to make the four meal selections which are Beef Lasagne, Beef Bolognese Sauce, Macaroni Cheese and Tomato and Red Lentil Soup.  These four meals are all made from the same recipe throughout all branches which are basic but child-friendly and nutritious.

Who are these meals for you ask??

Having a new baby, or young children, can be really, really hard work! And having a good support network is one of the main ingredients for getting through those early stages.

Bellyful’s main criteria are simply that the whānau they support have babies or young children, and don’t have others available to do what we do – cook and deliver free meals.

There is no financial assessment involved. However, it’s important to note that Bellyful is not a service that provides meals based on financial need, our service is based on more of an emotional need for support.

The key to the service is that Bellyful New Plymouth is here to provide some practical support in the form of frozen meals – for those whānau​ who wouldn’t have that support otherwise.

They don’t want to take over from all of the other wonderful forms of support available to whānau (like support from family, friends, church, Playcentre, other family groups, and networks) – They step in where none of those exist.

Having a few meals delivered by a friendly face can be a real sanity-saver.

Now what is needed are some more volunteers who understand what Bellyful is about and are happy to work with the local branch coordinator and become one of the volunteers who is rostered to contact the recipient family and arrange safe delivery of the frozen meals. What else do you need to know??

This will be on an as needed basis.

Are you a kind and compassionate person?

Are you comfortable working alone to deliver meals to families?

Health & Safety and Delivery training is given. 

All delivery volunteers are Police Vetted

All delivery volunteers are Reference checked.

You need to hold an appropriate driver license

You will also need to have reliable transport

Bellyful is now supporting whānau in 25 communities across New Zealand thanks to their wonderful sponsors, supporters, and volunteers the service is free.

So, if you want to add your support behind this essential service or want to find out more then please contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth email her at or phone or text 022 571 4228 and let her know you are keen to be involved.


Community Education Tutors

Taranaki Community Education recently rebranded. Formerly known as Taranaki Adult Literacy Services, “Taranaki Community Education” better reflects who they are and the services they offer to our community.

TCE is a not-for-profit charitable organisation that provides community education programmes in collaboration with skilled professionals; they provide tailored programmes that enable ako and shared connections. 

The programmes focus on three core areas: cultural, communication and self-sufficiency. Within the cultural programme are the popular courses Conversational Māori with Keri Elvin and Te Reo Māori for Beginners with Gareth Kahui.

Currently TCE is based in the community, and they deliver their programmes at the venues of a number of local organisations. These include The Salvation Army, The Tasman Club, Taranaki Community Law and Taranaki Disabilities Information Centre.

The Cultural programmes for this term include Conversational Māori as well as a new Online Kōrero Māori course. This is an opportunity for those that may not be able to attend an in-person event and is a great way to involve the whānau in the learning journey. 

Another addition to the cultural programme is a Preserving Your Past workshop with Susanne Rawson, who is an expert in heritage preservation. In this workshop participants will learn how to capture the information about an item special to them, including implementing some basic preservation measures to improve its condition.
Two other upcoming courses as part of the Communication programme, are Counselling and Communication where participants will be mentored by registered counsellor, Margaret Smith. Learn how to actively listen and engage, how to encourage and support others as well as how to have courageous conversations. 

Another exciting addition is the Creating a Life History course with Janet Hunt.  This course will cover how to put together a life history, including planning, interviewing, transcribing, and presenting. 

TCE has openings for more tutors to join their ranks. If you have expertise in the cultural, communication or self-sufficiency fields, and you have an interest in helping people, this maybe an opportunity for you.

As a tutor you will help empower others to become more self-sufficient in their daily lives. Suggested course topics include food and nutrition, cooking skills, upcycling, gardening, raising poultry, home maintenance, and basic car maintenance. With guidance you will work on a contractual arrangement to create and teach your own course, including the flexibility to move to an online format if required.

Tutor responsibilities can vary depending on your skills. The classes are small groups in a very welcoming friendly and supportive environment.

For those who have an interest and skills in Photography and / or Videography for marketing and would like to volunteer supporting a growing organisation, TCE would welcome your help.

Here is a chance to learn new skills that can then be used to improve the lifestyles of other adults.  How good would that be!  So many opportunities- Student, Contracted Tutor or Volunteer. So, if you are reading this and thinking - "I could do this!" then please register your interest by contacting Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth on 06 758 8986,

E: or phone / text 027 571 4228


Salvation Army Family Store:  Store Person

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.

Last year the New Plymouth Family Store moved next door to Spotlight and since then they have rearranged the store and so they are on the lookout for friendly volunteers willing to become part of the team who work on a roster system from Monday through to Saturday. The store is open from 8.30 – 5pm on those days. 

You will be a part of a diverse team that believes in our community and loves having the opportunity to give back You will also be responsible for providing excellent customer service to our instore customers and those who donate goods.

You can work at times to suit you and any time that you can offer will be greatly appreciated. However, if you can commit to the same time each week or fortnight that would be really helpful.

They are looking for volunteers who are passionate about people and customer service. It would be great if you have previous experience in retail with cash handling skills and customer service skills also it is important that people who are interested are able to work efficiently and demonstrate punctuality – these are important and would be wonderful to have - 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 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 Volunteering New Plymouth on (06) 758 8986 / 022 571 4228 or email her at so that contact can be arranged.


GIRLGUIDING NZ Taranaki – Youth Leadership Opportunity

Are you passionate about providing girls and young women opportunities to build resilience, confidence, and a strong sense of identity? Girl Guiding is growing across New Plymouth and we need more good people to come and do great things with us.

In this volunteer role you will be a part of a team who provide a fun, challenging and exciting programme which enables girls to achieve the awards in the girl programme and meet the mission and vision of the organisation. 

You will also help facilitate opportunities for girls to contribute to the planning of future programmes and activities and ensure that there is a strong girl voice in the unit and that girls are heard and listened to. 

No prior experience needed- full training and ongoing support will be provided. This is an absolutely fabulous opportunity for fun-loving volunteers from all backgrounds of life and with any potential skills to share, to step up and become Youth Leaders for Girl Guiding Taranaki. Multiple roles are available across the city on Wednesday/Thursday afternoons or evenings.

We love what we do which is why we work so hard to ensure that we provide great opportunities for our girls.  Join our passionate and supportive local team in a well-established, long standing national organisation today.

To find out more and start the conversation then I would encourage you to contact Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth  on (06) 758 8986, or phone or text 022 571 4228 or email so that she can register your interest to help.


New Plymouth Stroke Support Trust

The New Plymouth Stroke Support Trust started back in August 1986 when  the first gathering happened.  This is a gathering so that carers of people who have had strokes can bring their spouses along and have a day free where we  look after them and feed them. That was the reason why this Trust originally formed.

The group was kick-started with a $3000 donation from the Commercial Travellers' Association.

Now, every third Friday of the month, the group holds a social event for people who have had a stroke and their caregivers at the Beach St Hall in Fitzroy from about 10am to 1pm. 

At the group there's morning tea, lunch and entertainment. 

Members unable to drive whether they live in Oakura, Inglewood, Waitara or New Plymouth are picked up and dropped off by Ironside Vehicle Society or Driving Miss Daisy or their rest home.

The trust also offers members two social bus trips a year, and once-a-month meetings for carers only.

Funding is raised by a yearly subs and from the Community Organisation Grants Scheme, TSB Community Trust, bequests, and various fundraising activities this covers the running costs of the events.

What else do they need you ask?

They are looking for volunteers to support this great gathering to help set up for the day and help the committee with greeting the guests and giving out name tags and helping them to their seat and then helping serve morning tea and lunch and then the clearing and cleaning up after. This is not an onerous task; however they would love some younger people to assist the committee some who have been doing this for the most of the 35 years.

Someone who would enjoy a once-a-month event and perhaps go on one or both of the social bus trips too. The more volunteers we have then there is great potential to be able to roster this; so that it is more flexible (so that if you are going to be going away you can go without feeling like you are letting the others down – so think about it and:

If this appeals and you could fit a once a month activity from 9.15am  – 1.30pm on the third Friday. 

You could always try before you buy (so to speak) and go check it out to see if it is something you would like doing  to be part of – if so then please give Wendy at Volunteering New Plymouth a call  on (06) 758 8986, email at or phone or text 022 571 4228.


Meals on Wheels:

New Zealand Red Cross – Taranaki Branch:

New Zealand Red Cross delivers over 15,000 meals on wheels to the house-bound and elderly throughout New Plymouth District every year.  This number has continued to increase over the last few years and with the recent retirement of some of the long serving volunteers it means that there is an urgent need for new volunteer drivers for this essential service.  

The Inglewood Branch has around 20 drivers that deliver meals five days a week.  Not only does the service provide a nourishing meal for their clients but the volunteer drivers provide many of the recipients with the security of knowing they will have some daily contact with others, which many of them lack. 

You do not need to make a large commitment as you will be put on a rooster that suits the time you have available. Generally, you have the roster for a month - 1 day (the same day) per week the start time for this service is 11.30am and usually takes till approximately 12.30pm depending on the number of meals being delivered. Inglewood is quite small, so it does not take too long to deliver to all those receiving these meals.  If there are a couple of you one can drive and the other can deliver and it takes less time of course -

If you have always thought about volunteering - but thought that you couldn't because you wer