Rotorua Weekender Gives Back is a segment where we visit local charities and organisations who rely on volunteers to help deliver their services. This week Shauni James experienced part of a volunteer's day at St Chads Charitable Trust.
St Chads Charitable Trust volunteer Christine says she could never give up her volunteering role.
And I can certainly see why after getting to spend some time with the team and clients at the trust.
The atmosphere is contagious, and the clients are full of positivity and warm your heart.
At St Chads, they work alongside people with disabilities to enable independence, choice and meaningful community participation.
The day started off with a morning meeting, where everyone gathered in the hall and went over what was happening for the day.
Since I was new, a number of the clients kindly explained to me what the morning meeting and St Chads was all about.
I was then given a tour of the building and it was awesome to see all the different rooms for a range of great activities, such as the art, computer and woodwork rooms.
A group of us then got settled in the art room and got to work creating cards to be sold at the St Chad's Inspire Gallery.
We planned a design using gorgeous paper and craft embellishments, before all taking turns to help put it together and bring it to life.
I loved how each step in the process went from one person to next around the group, meaning everyone was invested and felt a sense of pride in the final product.
I then moved into the computer room where clients were working hard on putting together stories for St Chads' monthly newsletter.
It was a lot of fun being shown how they plan and layout the newsletter, and then I got to help with a bit of typing practice.
After a morning tea break, some of us headed out to Ka Pai Kai Rotorua, where some of the clients work and help out.
Conor and I carried out some meticulous counting of cutlery which would be going along with the school lunches, and I loved that he was carrying out the task with a huge smile.
While at Ka Pai Kai, it was also so inspiring and touching to see the immense amount of enthusiasm Madison had for her work there.
She couldn't stop praising her time there and expressing how much she loved it, and it was really eye-opening to see just how much this involvement and communication within the community means to the clients.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with St Chads.
The sense of fulfilment you feel in a volunteer role is addictive and once the clients make their way into your heart, they are bound to be there permanently.
St Chads' daily programmes are centered around home and living, social and leisure, and vocational.
The role of a volunteer is to provide friendly support to both the clients and facilitators.
A session runs for 1.5 hours and covers activities like life skill, numeracy, art, woodwork, dance, swimming, choir, shopping, gardening and computers.
There is also the option to volunteer and be part of the team and St Chads' Inspire Art Gallery in the Rotorua CBD.
Friendly and reliable retail volunteers are needed for the gallery. The role includes welcoming people to the shop, answering questions about the art programme and assisting with purchases.
Ideally, gallery volunteers would need to commit to a regular, weekly shift from 12pm to 3pm on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
• For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (07) 347 8515.