Manawatū soldier Ed Dore-Wright's commitment to his community as a firefighter, football coach and Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association (RNZRSA) member have led to him being named the New Zealand Defence Force Volunteer of the Year 2020.
Warrant Officer Class 2 Dore-Wright has lived throughout New Zealand since joining the Army in 1996 but has been based in Ashhurst for the past eight years, allowing him and wife Janet to get involved in the community.
"Volunteering is important as it gives me the opportunity to connect with and help members of the community in Ashhurst and the surrounding areas," the 2nd Regional Training Wing senior instructor said.
"Being in the military helps with the different areas I volunteer in.
"I really enjoy a challenge and being a volunteer firefighter can put you in some testing positions.
"My military service has given me the ability to look at situations from a different perspective and take charge when required.
"And volunteering also assists with my military career.
"Taking experience from different situations and challenges working with young people in the community adds to my toolbox of skills required for my job as an instructor."
Dore-Wright said one of his greatest passions was football, which he had played for both the Army and NZDF teams before an injury led him to step into more of a coaching role.
"Coaching my eldest son's school team got me into coaching and this year I have been the assistant coach to the Marist reserves men's team,"
Dore-Wright credited wife Janet for being able to volunteer as much as he did.
"She balances her work commitments, our kids and all the other family day-to-day activities," he said.
Mrs Dore-Wright also helped alongside her husband at the RNZRSA, making volunteering a family affair.
"Janet joined the Ashhurst RNZRSA Woman's committee and Welfare Committee and encouraged me to join.
"We are both now on the Ashhurst RNZRSA Executive and Welfare committees and Janet is also the treasurer.
"At a time when organisations can struggle to get volunteers, it was important to me to inject younger thinking and the influence of a current serving member of the military into the RNZRSA.
"But the biggest reward is knowing that your local RNZRSA efforts have helped the community and Veterans in need."