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Volunteer stories

Nadine and Sarah

Sarah signed up to volunteer with us in late 2019 and has wasted no time getting to know Nadine. Sarah initially volunteered in order to give back to the community and make a genuine friendship. "Nadine and I have shared some great moments and like every friendship have had a few challenges. For example sometimes I'm away for a while, but  it doesn't take long for Nadine warm up to me again, and that is such a good feeling."

We match our volunteers with people we support who have similar interests. Sarah says "I do most of the things Nadine likes to do normally, it's an amazing feeling to share that with Nadine, as I can see Nadine enjoys it as much as I do."

Aspire would really like to thank all our fantastic volunteers. They truly make a positive difference to peoples lives. Pictured (right) are Sarah and Nadine enjoying a bus trip out for hot chocolates.

Riya and Kamini

Riya is a high school student who has been volunteering with Kamini. Although there is a bit of an age difference between the two women, they have bonded over their common interest in Bollywood movies.

The Aspire – Community Support volunteer coordinator says that Riya was recruited through Volunteering Waikato. “We were looking for someone who could visit with Kamini, and help her keep her connections to her Hindi culture alive. Kamini says “we watch Bollywood movies and talk Hindi together”.

Riya feels that communication is a really important skill to bring to this kind of volunteering. “When you are volunteering in another language, you have to be able to communicate really well.”

There is an old saying, “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your own path”. This has been Riya’s experience. “Volunteering gives me a sense of fulfilment, and I love spending time with Kamini. After I leave I’m always really happy and in a good mood, and I feel I’ve left Kamini in a good mood as well.”

Considering a future career in medicine, Riya is aware that volunteering looks good on her CV, saying “A lot of people like that fact that you volunteer, it’s really good to show that you care and have empathy for others”.