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The St John Siren

National Volunteer Week - time to say a heartfelt thank you to almost 8,000 volunteers

Love, connection and offering a hearfelt thank you are at the centre of Te wiki tūao ā motu (National Volunteer Week) for St John this year.

The week of celebration runs from Sunday, 19 June to Saturday, 25 June and is a chance for everyone to thank those who go out of their way to make a difference as a volunteer. St John will be celebrating the work of almost 8,000 volunteers who contribute more than three million hours every year across our operational and community programmes.

These volunteers are the lifeblood of St John, people who go out of their way to strengthen ties and friendship in the community across many different programmes. They include ambulance and events, archives, area committees, caring callers, community carers, chaplaincy, fellowship, friends of the emergency department/hospital, St John health shuttle, St John retail stores, therapy pets and youth leaders. Without our volunteers’ generous contributions of time, energy, and local knowledge, our services would not be able to exist or operate.

Te wiki tūao ā motu theme for 2022 is “Share the Aroha”, which focuses on “doing” something and sharing love to thank our amazing volunteers. In 2020, a St John report on the financial worth of our dedicated volunteer workforce showed that across ambulance shifts, training and retail stores, our volunteers contributed almost $140 million of value, “Sharing the Aroha”.

Yet volunteers are individuals who do not want gifts or the desire to be placed in the spotlight for their valuable efforts. Our volunteers tell us they love what they do and don’t seek attention for their kind actions or sacrifice of time. They are typically people who want to give and contribute, rather than get anything in return. They tell us that simply being a St John volunteer is rewarding enough. It provides them with an opportunity to make a significant contribution to their community and it’s also a great way to connect, to give, to keep learning, to be active and to take notice (the five ways of wellbeing).

Despite their modesty, St John recognises the special work each volunteer does and for this year’s National Volunteer Week, we would like to say a humble thank you. We believe that making time to listen to or be there for others is invaluable. We hope everyone in the community will “do something” and “Share the Aroha” along with St John during the week of 19 to 25 June.

Pictured is Di Taylor, the St John volunteer team manager in Whitianga.

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