Every month Mud Ducks cafe next to the i-Site sponsors a food and drink voucher of $40 for the person awarded Volunteer of the Month. Sandra Rickey, Volunteer Whanganui manager, presents the hard-working individual with the voucher, a certificate of recognition and a coloured metal volunteer lapel badge.
This month, the award went to Helen Ammundsen, a volunteer with the Wanganui Blind and Partially Blind Incorporation.
Helen joined as a volunteer in 1989 and became committee member and treasurer fairly quickly before taking over as secretary.
"I retired in 1989 and started volunteering because I felt I wanted to do it and what better place than with the blind?" she says. "It's one organisation where I thought the people definitely needed the help. I felt I could be the eyes for somebody."
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Before retirement Helen spent 35 years as a clerical worker at the Power Board.
Having decided on her course of action, and because there were no agencies like Volunteer Whanganui in those days, Helen rang the organisation and offered her services.
"I started off helping in the craft room, and that's where I am now." She assists the craft group every Tuesday afternoon.
As well as helping blind people with their craft, Helen has her own projects.
"I've always been interested in craft, but more crocheting and knitting, that type of thing. I still knit."
Helen no longer drives so she is picked up by one of the other volunteers and she intends to continue helping for as long as she can.
"I get a certain amount of joy out of seeing that you're of some use to somebody." She's also aware that her own health problems fade into insignificance when seeing people with a serious disability still able to enjoy life.
Helen is one of five or six volunteers working with the craft group, but they always need more, she says.