Last year, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel guide named Wellington the “Coolest Little Capital in the World”, a catch phrase that had certainly caught the imaginations of everyone who lives here. So what makes this city of ours such a great place to be? For me the beauty of city will always be foremost – the harbour, hills and houses and ever-changing climate are always uplifting. Add that to Wellington’s wealth of festivals, restaurants and vibrant film and sporting scene, what’s not to love? Best in Travel writer Catherine Le Nevez wrote:
Wellingtonians are modest-as; they just figure if you’re going to do something, why not do it well? Its compact size energises its sense of community. Locals love their city…and get a kick out of helping visitors fall in love with it too.
This is an excellent description of what makes every good community a great one – volunteers! And as Christchurch knows, behind every city is a great army of them. So do something, do it well and help contribute to your place. It really does feel good to give something back.
Volunteering doesn’t need to be a big commitment. A few hours a week or even a month, will make a difference both to you and your community. Volunteers help strengthen community networks, maintain the environment, support cultural and heritage events, and provide services to family and whanau. In return, volunteers develop skills, a sense of belonging, meet new people and have fun!
So how do you get involved in Wellington? We are really spoilt for choice here. From large events like the Rugby World Cup to beach clean ups or supporting refugees, there are many projects to join. Volunteer Wellington has 407 not-for-profit community based organisations on its books and a new volunteer job search database on their website so you can find something that suits you. Get your ‘kick’ by being a Volunteer Ambassador. Ambassadors are a new venture in Wellington to help visitors ‘fall in love’ with the city, and are currently being recruited by Volunteer Wellington. Ambassadors engage with cruise ship passengers to promote city attractions and provide them with local information.
For more ideas, consider community groups, parks and other Wellington Council based volunteer opportunities or access a list of local charities at the Charity Vault. Look for a role that not only fits your timetable but aligns with your values and interests. At Victoria University, students can access university roles at www.victoria.ac.nz/getinvolved
Need inspiration? Check out this very cool little video of Minature Wellington