Newcomer? Volunteering Can Help!

12 January 2022 | News

Newcomer? Volunteering Can Help!

Are you new to Marlborough? Maybe you've moved here from somewhere else in Aotearoa New Zealand, perhaps you've come from another country.

Are you interested in:

  • finding ways to gain employment?
  • improving English skills?
  • connecting with your community?

Volunteering is a great way to achieve all those things!

Finding work in Marlborough can sometimes be a struggle for anyone, but for newcomers to the region, those barriers can be even bigger. This might be because some employers require people to have New Zealand work experience as a job requirement. Other employers may simply want to know that you are here to stay before spending time on training and orientation. Some may want to evaluate language and communication skills.

When you volunteer, you gain valuable work experience, networking opportunities, the chance to get references, new friends, and even learn more about your new region. But how do you get started volunteering?

What is volunteering?

Volunteering is the act of giving time and service, of one's own free will.

What is the time commitment?

Volunteer opportunities can vary in the time commitment and can depend on the type of activity and your availability. Perhaps you want to volunteer for an event on a specified day like a street appeal - we call these our "one-off events". Maybe you are able to commit to an organisation for up to 3 months - these are often referred to as "short-term" opportunities. And then there's the "long-term" opportunities that are more than 3 month's commitment and often as much as 12-24 months. You'll also find virtual opportunities and "do from home" roles.

Can I volunteer if I don't have NZ references? What about a work visa?

If you're asked for references, most organisations are perfectly fine with references from your country of origin. Usually references do not need to be from employers - ask your friends, landlords, previous colleagues. A work visa isn't necessary either. You're welcome to volunteer even on a visitor or student visa.

How do I start?

Ask yourself:

  • what are my interests?
  • what are my skills?
  • how much time can I offer?
  • what do I want to gain from this?

Then click on Current Positions under the "Want to Volunteer" tab on our website to explore all the available roles. Use the drop-down menus to filter different categories, time commitments and locations.

If you find a role that appeals to you, fill out the form underneath and referral information will be sent to you.

Another option is to make an appointment with Jyn, our Coordinator for Volunteer Services, by calling 03-577-9388 or emailing us.