A new family festival that aims to celebrate volunteering and connect Tauranga locals with
volunteering organisations, has secured a major partnership.

Volfest event organiser Volunteering Bay of Plenty has announced the Wright Family Foundation as VolFest 2020's presenting partner.

The event aimed to educate Tauranga locals about the ways they can volunteer in a fun, festival atmosphere complete with live music, entertainment and food trucks.

Bookings are being taken now from volunteering organisations keen to be involved.

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Wright Family Foundation co-founder and chief executive Chloe Wright sees the partnership as a natural fit.

She said VolFest was the "epitome" of what the foundation stood for.

"VolFest is about bringing people together to do what their heart tells them they want to do. There is always a need for volunteers and everyone has a passion or talent they can offer.

"Volunteering is the ability to mentor others, form bonds and friendships, and be part of a
community. And it's fun," she said.

Volunteering Bay of Plenty encouraged all volunteering organisations to take part to educate locals on what they do, and how they can help.

Chairman Ron Scott said volunteering was crucial to the community.

"There are many ways to volunteer and VolFest is our way to connect locals with causes that resonate with them, in a fun, festival atmosphere," he said.

Several organisations have already signed up to take part including the Ōtanewainuku Kiwi Trust and Riding for the Disabled.

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Ōtanewainuku Kiwi Trust acting chairman Bruce Fraser saw VolFest as an opportunity to highlight the work of the trust and potentially recruit new volunteers.

"Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Ōtanewainuku Kiwi Trust - they turn up each month to work in the bush or make traps, they undertake all the background work like looking after the finances, sponsorship, communications, organisation and liaison with iwi, DOC and other important groups.

"We don't have any paid positions so without the mammoth ongoing efforts of many volunteers, we wouldn't be able to protect the kiwi, kōkako and other species in the untouched piece of bush that is the Ōtanewainuku Forest," Fraser said.

Riding for Disabled in Tauranga manager Elisha Olds was also thrilled to
be part of VolFest.

"It's a great opportunity to exhibit our organisation and attract volunteers to be part of our team. It's exciting to have volunteers able to gather in one place to explore their volunteering options."

VolFest presented by the Wright Family Foundation will be held on Saturday April 4 2020 at the Historic Village in Tauranga.

If you are a volunteer-based organisation and would like to be involved, email Lisa Ford at manager@volbop.org.nz or head to www.volfest.org for more information.