Rotorua volunteers have enjoyed blueberry delights as a local business thanks them for their work.

On Tuesday, 44 Rotorua volunteers from different organisations visited Mamaku Blue Blueberry Experience and Winery for a special afternoon tea of pancakes, blueberries and cream.

Mamaku Blue Blueberry Experience and Winery owner Anne Frost says this was the first of six afternoon teas this year for Rotorua volunteers.

She says the idea for the afternoon teas started up after her husband had a stroke in 2012.


Anne says when he had the stroke they got great support from the Stroke Foundation and its volunteers.

"This is our own way of giving back after the support at the time and it's just grown.

"It started off with just the Stroke Foundation and it's grown every year."

She says the community would not survive without all of the volunteers.

"We enjoy it because we feel like it's our contribution."

Anne says one year a manager stood up and thanked Mamaku Blue for holding the afternoon teas because with the organisation's budget it did not have anything left to say thank you to its volunteers, but that Mamaku Blue had done it for them.

"That was encouraging... they all appreciate it, and sometimes it's the only time they've been here."

Diabetes NZ Rotorua branch manager Karen Reed says this is their third time taking volunteers along to the afternoon tea.


She says it recognises that the organisation has volunteers who contribute a lot of time in the community and acknowledges them.

"They don't have the time to volunteer themselves so it's their way of giving to the community and supporting these organisations.

"It's a great opportunity for the groups here at the same time to mix and mingle, and it's a lovely environment and setting... and blueberries are always yummy."

Diabetes NZ Rotorua branch volunteer Sue says the afternoon tea is enjoyable, and that it is nice spending time with other volunteers and to feel their volunteering is acknowledged.

Citizens Advice Bureau Rotorua manager Jane Eynon-Richards says they have volunteers going in early August and this is probably the fifth time they have attended.

She says it is a great way of acknowledging the volunteers and is a chance for them to get together in an informal and cosy situation, and to share social time away from the volunteer work.

"As a manager of a large volunteer workforce I feel it is tricky to use public funding to say thanks to the volunteers for all they do for the community, so I am very grateful to Mamaku Blue for stepping in so generously and putting these events on."