Josh Angus is no ordinary volunteer. Not content with volunteering as directed, he aimed high and became chairman of Volunteer Whanganui.

At 18 Josh walked in the door of Volunteer Whanganui and offered his services.

"I had left school the year previously, so that was 2008, and I was on the unemployment benefit. I was job searching and thought volunteering would be a good way to get some skills, participate in the community and meet new people."

Volunteer Whanganui then had rooms in Wakefield Chambers and was managed by Murray Neilson.


"I met Wayne McMahon, one of the volunteer co-ordinators. I had lots of questions and he was awesome. He supported me into volunteering."

Josh says he did little bits and pieces here and there, but one job he remembers was being a writer for a student who couldn't write due to a disability.

"I helped him write his tests. After that Wayne asked if I would go into the volunteer centre and do a day or two admin volunteering.

"I'd been at school for all those years and all of a sudden I was out in the big, wide world, thinking, what do I do now? Volunteering was a really great help, navigating, seeing what was out there in terms of employment and skills I could offer."

It turned out he was adept at co-ordination and administration and in 2010 he became chairman of Volunteer Whanganui, another volunteer position.

"All I knew was that they needed a chairperson and I wanted to help."

He was there for seven years and learned some valuable skills.

"I think by then I felt I'd done what I could and was ready to go on and do other things."


He says things really started to happen at Volunteer Whanganui when Sandra Rickey came in as manager.

"She has got lots of different things organised and initiatives set up: It's been exciting as chairperson to see those things come to fruition and watch Sandra lift the profile of the centre ... and to be involved in it. Sandra's a doer!

"It was good being able to work with both Murray and Sandra."

Murray died in 2013.

"When he passed away that was a challenge for the centre and for me as chairperson. The board and volunteer staff really had to step up and everyone did a good job."

While the centre was between managers, Josh says, the help of volunteer co-ordinator Barrie Marsh and the board members helped them get through a difficult time.


Part of his job then was to rewrite the manager's job description, come up with interview questions and co-ordinate the interviews with some of the board members.

Josh would recommend volunteering for a number of reasons.

"As well as growing as a person and gaining new skills, some of the people I have met over the years have been awesome. You meet people from all walks of life and you make friends. In return, people get to know you and you share some good times.

"People need to be encouraged to volunteer and you never know where it may lead."

Josh works full-time in administration at Mangawhero Te Kohanga Reo in Guyton St, a position he has held for nine years.

As Volunteer of the Month Josh receives a certificate, a volunteer lapel badge and a $40 voucher from Mud Ducks Cafe.