Find out more about volunteering using the links below:

Whether it is important to you to solve a community problem, advance a worthy cause or to develop as a person, volunteering offers many benefits in appreciation for the gift of your time and expertise.

Volunteers mirror the diversity of New Zealand Society with people of all ages, women and men, youth, employees and unemployed, different cultural backgrounds and belief groups being involved.

Volunteering is a means of social inclusion.

Volunteering is one of the ways in which people of all abilities and backgrounds can contribute to positive change.

Volunteering provides informal and non-formal learning opportunities and is therefore a crucial instrument to lifelong learning.

Through volunteering, people gain knowledge, exercise skills and extend their social networks, which can often lead to new or better employment opportunities, as well as personal and social development.

  • Make important networking contacts
  • Learn or develop skills
  • Teach your skills to others
  • Enhance your resume
  • Gain work experience
  • Build self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Improve your health
  • Meet new people
  • Feel needed and valued
  • Express gratitude for help you may have received in the past from an organization
  • Communicate to others that you are ambitious, enthusiastic and care about the community
  • Make a difference in someone's life
  • Improves the likelihood that children will volunteer as an adult
  • Is undertaken for the common good
  • Is unpaid
  • Is undertaken of one's free will
  • Does not replace paid staff
  • Works across all cultures
  • Benefits the individual, the service and the wider community

These principles have been developed between governments, organisations and agencies throughout the world, all of who are committed to volunteering.

Volunteers' motivations can be very mixed and vary from person to person. It is very important to examine your motivations before you make your final decision as these will help you to better reflect on your reasons for volunteering and the particular placement that you have chosen.

Do remember that although there are no 'right' or 'wrong' motivations, there should ideally be a balance between meeting your needs and meeting the needs of others when making a decision to volunteer.

Understanding your own motivations will help you build up a realistic expectation of what you hope to achieve through volunteering. Volunteers who have unrealistic expectations of their placement can often end up feeling disappointed, frustrated and disillusioned when the experience does not meet their expectations.

Make a list of all the skills you have that you think would be relevant to volunteering.

This could include educational qualifications, paid and voluntary work experience, knowledge of languages, previous experience of living abroad, and any other interests that you think would be of use.

This will assist you when you search the job section on our website and give you a better idea of where you might be able to make the most useful contribution.

Depending on the organisation you'll be volunteering with, you may have the option of choosing how long you'd like your volunteer work to last. Make sure you know what's expected of you before applying to a volunteer position, as you may want to tailor your search to how much time you're willing to offer a cause.

Volunteer positions are by definition unpaid. You may get reimbursed for some expenses associated with your volunteer job, usually mileage expenses. Please ask for clarification at the beginning of your volunteer job.

Your personal circumstances will have an influence on the type of volunteering you choose to do and the length of time you choose to do it for. Your family situation, financial circumstances, age, physical and mental health, employment situation, level of education, qualifications, work experience and personal traits, will all, to some extent or another, influence your decision.

You are not required to disclose your personal circumstances but if it is to your advantage, do so. This will make your volunteering more effective and fun.

It may be a good idea to take your CV or similar documents when you go through the recruitment process with the organisation, especially if you are interested for a skilled opportunity.

Occasionally a volunteer job does become a paid job. What volunteering does however is give you the opportunity to learn new skills and gain up to date experience that may help you get into paid work. You will also be meeting people and making new contacts. This may lead to further employment opportunities.

A job description or volunteer agreement makes your job responsibilities clear and you will know exactly what you are required to do. If the organisations do not provide you with one, please ask, as you should know your rights and responsibilities.

  • Your obligations as a volunteer will include things such as turning up for work on time, doing the job to the best of your ability and getting on well with the people you are working with. You will be told what an organisation expects from you before you accept the job.
  • All volunteers will be expected to keep activities safe and in-line with policies on legislation. You will be expected to know the confidentiality policy, health and safety policy and general guidelines of the organisation with which you work.
  • Most organisations will do a police check, as required by law. Sometimes this will take 2-3 weeks, please be patient.
  • Organisations who make the commitment to you usually want you to stay and volunteer for them. Most organisations would like you to make a commitment for at least three months.
  • You will fill out and sign a volunteer agreement form

The organisation's responsibilities will be such things as giving you worthwhile and challenging work, recognising you as a valued team member and giving you training and support.
Many organisations reimburse their volunteers for out of pocket expenses such as transport. They also may provide a reference for you after you have been in the job for a certain period of time.

It is important to Volunteering Hawkes Bay that all of the volunteers we work with or refer have a safe and enjoyable experience whilst undertaking their voluntary roles.

If you are a volunteer, you must take reasonable care of your own safety and take care not to do anything which could harm another person. You should follow all reasonable safety instructions given to you when you are volunteering at one of our member organisations, so that they can comply with their Health and Safety obligations.

When you are a volunteer, you have the same health and safety duties as paid workers. In addition to the duties above you must also co-operate with any reasonable health and safety policy or procedure of the organisation you are volunteering at, as long as this has been notified to you.

Read more : https://worksafe.govt.nz/managing-health-and-safety/getting-started/understanding-the-law/volunteers/information-for-volunteers/