Congratulations to our Volunteer Connect Award winners!
Each year Volunteer Wellington in partnership with the Citizens Advice Bureau Wellington and the Job Mentoring Service of English Language Partners (ELP) Wellington holds The Volunteer Connect Award as a way of encouraging newcomers to Wellington to participate in their community and build local connections. ELP Wellington nominated three people this year and they received their awards last month at a ceremony held at Southern Cross Bar Restaurant. Here are some wonderful comments from our nominees.
Leticia Ferreira do Nascimento (Job Mentoring Service coordinator ELP Wellington):
I took a volunteer position at Newtown Budgeting and Advocacy for a few months in 2018. I used to go there every Thursday and spend the day supporting Advisors there. I had the opportunity to get in contact with the social area in Wellington, learn about non-profit organisations and the sense of community in New Zealand. I feel lucky enough to have had the chance to be part of the team. I felt welcomed since my first contact when Anna, the current manager, who interviewed me and gave me a chance to start with volunteering. I felt that the team trusted me to use my skills which I have as a trained psychologist in Brazil to interact with clients when they needed support in their hard times. Geoff, the previous manager, took every chance to teach me what he knew about the challenges of the clients and how to solve issues, always with lots of humour and kindness. It was very important to know that I had commitments every week; also to have a routine and to feel that I could fit into New Zealand’s culture with my background… I am deeply grateful for the experience.
Pedro César Bittencourt de Azevedo Filho (Job Mentor volunteer):
First of all, it is amazing to see this project running here in Wellington, showing great results and having a massive impact in people’s life, so it’s my pleasure to be involved with Job Mentoring Service. It has been an outstanding opportunity to engage with people from different cultures and understand more about the difficulties that skilled immigrants face here in Aotearoa New Zealand. Great to see the energy across all the staff (volunteers or non-volunteers), everyone willing to help. Also, a great opportunity to re-evaluate all things I have been through on my life and be more resilient looking to all great examples of people that are involved with the Service.
Martha Lucia Arango Quintero (ELP Wellington learner):
My home tutor from ELP encouraged me to become a volunteer and we both decided that Ronald McDonald House was the perfect organisation to join as it is important for my future goal of working in health and I enjoy learning new skills and helping people. I am proud of my ability to communicate in the interview for this volunteer role and I have learned how to multitask in this often demanding, but rewarding position. I get so much satisfaction from helping people in this organisation and appreciate the opportunity to work with such a great team. A new skill I am very excited about is learning sign language. My English is always improving.
Photo credit: Malcom Wood