From governance to advising, to tutoring and being a buddy, 18 individuals and one business were recognised at Volunteer Central's eighth Volunteer Recognition Event.
The brunch for Manawatū and Horowhenua volunteers was held in Palmerston North last Friday, the first time it has been run in the morning.
Guest speaker Palmerston North MP Tangi Utikere said at Queen's Birthday weekend he did a little bit of volunteering himself, going to the East Coast to cover Kiri Allan's electorate work. Allan, the MP for East Coast, is battling cervical cancer.
Utikere said as a society we often take volunteerism for granted and often underestimate the impact volunteering has in our community.
Volunteering makes people happy - both the volunteers and those who benefit from it. It also means we can get a lot of mahi done.
Utikere reflected on his own journey as a volunteer, including being a JP.
Horowhenua District councillor Victoria Kaye-Simmons said volunteering is a huge part of Aotearoa's culture, something that became more evident during last year's lockdown when volunteers delivered food and medication.
She thanked the volunteers for being selfless, giving and choosing to make a difference.
The volunteers recognised were:
Brian Finch, editor and educator, Palmy's Plastic Pollution Challenge
Chi Hang Lam, digital adviser, Digits Charitable Trust
Lynne Dann, home tutor, English Language Partners
Jeremy Parry, data entry, Manawatū Tenants Union
Tui Robinson, library assistant, Manawatū Toy Library
Julie Stewart, mentor, SuperGrans Mananwatū
Chuda Ghimire, refugee support, Manawatū Multicultural Council
Kay Coles, chairwoman, Blind Low Vision NZ
Chrys Cabraal, mentor, Mentor Ed
Eleanor Ranson, peer support leader, Age Concern
Suzanne Pedersen, friendship buddy, Mash Trust
Roland Riddell, families tutor, Digits Charitable Trust
Kathy Simpson, founder and co-ordinator, Starlight - St Matthew's Church
Rebecca Driessen, library assistant, Manawatū Toy Library
Jocelyn Goodman, mentor, Mentor Ed
Tracey Sullivan, mentor, SuperGrans Manawatū
Kathy Patrick, home tutor, English Language Partners
Rita Cull, Skills4Living
Viv and Kevan from Viv's Kitchen in Sanson were recognised for their role as a Mash Trust business buddy. Each fortnight, a member of the Mash Trust Friendship Centre visits them at the cafe, is made to feel special and helps make coffee and pies.