Elizabeth Campbell started working at the Napier PSEC store as part of the Duke of Edinburgh programme.

She loved it so much, she's been doing it ever since.

The 15-year-old stood in awe when her name was called as winner of the 2018 "Youth Award" at the Hawke's Bay Volunteer Excellence Awards, held in Tamatea on Wednesday evening.

The humbled winner was one of two recipients nominated for the award.


"I wasn't really expecting it, I was up against someone else, so there was a 50/50 chance, and when I got it I just thought 'wow!'" she said.

"I didn't even know they had any awards to celebrate volunteering in the region, I only found out when I was nominated, so it was a real surprise."

Staff members from the store said she was "a highly valued worker, always arranges her own travel and works until closing".

Upon deciding to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh programme, Campbell said she was able to volunteer in any area she wanted.

"You could do any type of volunteering, but I specifically chose this one because my mum heard about it through social media and said why don't I check it out, and I said okay.

"I love working at the store because the people are really nice and sweet, it's always really nice to be there and there's never a bad experience."

Campbell said she highly recommended volunteering and hadn't met many people her own age doing it.

"I haven't really met a lot of people my age who have been doing this kind of work, it hasn't really caught on as much. I would recommend it, it's a really good way to spend your time."


Campbell said she originally started off working at the counter at the PSEC store and then moved on to other duties.

"I mainly just help out in the shop, steaming clothes, serving at the counter and just generally sorting things out like pricing."

Campbell had been volunteering at the Napier store for just over a year and said she had no plans to leave anytime soon.

"On a usual Saturday morning if I wasn't doing it, I would just lie in and sleep, but instead of that I'm actually getting outside and helping the community."

The teenager attended the Volunteer Excellence Awards with around 100 other volunteers from around the Hawke's Bay region and said there were a number of people and groups which continued to inspire her.

"I loved hearing about the Cancer Society Hawke's Bay volunteer drivers; I love how they drive people in need around in their spare time, it's just a really nice thing to do."


With what spare time she has, Campbell said she loves spending time with friends and enjoys the occasional sleep in when she's not working at the store.