From a night patroller to a wetsuit sewer, if you're thinking about helping out, Volunteering Whangarei has the job for you.

With over 15 organisations looking for volunteers in Northland, four hours per week could make the world of difference to someone in need of support or a fire that needs putting out.

This week is Volunteer Week, when the country recognises the selfless efforts of thousands of volunteers who give up their time to help others.

Wilson Croft-Malcolm, an unemployed man looking for volunteer work, was at the Volunteering Whangarei stall in Cameron St Mall yesterday .


Mr Croft-Malcolm said he would like to get a volunteer job within welfare and support, or become a migrant cultural ambassador.

"I want to be able to support people in need," he said.

"Te reo Maori, caring nature, lifetime skills, good at house repairs, and cultural grounding," were the qualities he would bring to volunteer work.

About 155,000 hours are worked by volunteers in Northland per week, with volunteers generally working four hours each per week.

Mr Croft-Malcolm said he would love to provide five to 10 hours of his week to help others. Volunteering Whangarei set up a stall on the Mall to provide an opportunity for the public to sign up for volunteer work, while getting advice from the team. The stall was next to the volunteer sculpture built to recognise and celebrate the countless volunteers in our district.

A volunteer who is appreciated at the Jim Carney Cancer Treatment Centre at Whangarei Hospital is Kathleen Selby, who volunteers for the Oncology Support Volunteer Team. Previously a cancer patient herself, Ms Selby is now a "ray of sunshine" and understands how important it is to support patients when they are new to treatment procedures.

She said her voluntary work for the oncology unit over the past seven months is different from anything she has ever done. "What I most enjoy is knowing that what we do ... at the oncology unit is of real value to the patients and nurses ..."

Northland District Health Board's Liz Inch appreciates the work volunteers do. "Northland District Health Board has 73 wonderful volunteers who contributed a total of 5237 hours during 2014."