Volunteer Marlborough (with assistance from volunteers), on behalf of the voluntary & community sector, and in conjunction with the Volunteer Centre Network of Aotearoa (VCNA) submitted a list of questions to those running for local office here in Marlborough. For consistency, effort has been made to ask the same questions of all candidates around the country.
Here, we hear from DEBORAH DALLIESSI:
What role do you think Council has in supporting a thriving Marlborough region for the voluntary & community sector?
People and communities are at the heart of any region. The opportunities for them to connect and come together for the benefit of a cause or need is so valuable, not just to what they are able to achieve, but for the satisfaction and sense of value volunteers feel about contributing themselves.
What do you think are the significant obstacles and opportunities facing the Marlborough region's voluntary & community sector over the next few years? If elected, how would you address these opportunities and obstacles?
Marlborough has an ageing population with over 30% being over 65 currently. Succession planning for where volunteers will come from needs to start now. Locally, a schools accreditation scheme for linking students with not-for-profit work would be good.
How do you view volunteering in the community? i.e. Is it important? What value do volunteers bring? And, if elected, how would you personally support the voluntary & community sector in Marlborough?
It's critical. It shapes us as people and the communities we exist in.
We've had a lot of extreme weather events around the country lately, and we are rather earthquake prone as a country. How do you see the role of volunteers as part of the disaster response locally?
This is an opportunity to attract younger people into non-traditional volunteer roles as clean up teams and environmental rebuilders, along the lines of the university barmy army group formed after Christchurch's earthquakes.
How do you see Council and community organisations working together to build a robust, resilient, and welcoming region and community?
Transparent and well-communicated acknowledgment for where we have volunteers and what they contribute annually. Possibly an annual volunteer Saturday where requests for small jobs (yard tidy, shelves put up, houseclean or garbage run) are sent in on behalf of elderly or people in real need. These are then matched with a free volunteer on that one day.
A similar annual assist day is held by collective of churches on the North Shore in Auckland and they do about 1000 assists on that day.
If you are successful in these local elections, how will you recognise and support the vital role of volunteers, volunteer-involving-organisations, and volunteer support services in the electorate? And how might you see yourself working with Volunteer Marlborough?
If there were to be a council appointed representative on future Volunteer Marlborough working groups, I would be pleased to put my name forward.
What impact do you perceive volunteers to have in our community? (Volunteer submitted)
Immeasurable both for the community and the volunteers themselves. That is, if they are recognised and acknowledged for their contribution.
Have you ever volunteered, and would you recommend it to others? (Volunteer submitted)
I think being a Brownie and Girl Guide, we were brought up to volunteer. I have volunteered since my 20s starting off reading on Sunday at a rest home. Over the years, I have volunteered at food kitchens, meals on wheels, and taking exercise classes for Parkinson's and Multiple Sclerosis. Numerous school fundraising programmes and as a board member on many unpaid not-for-profit boards.
How do you think volunteers and not-for-profits could better the community even further? (Volunteer submitted)
Identify the gaps and overlaps, so we can see where skills and shortfalls can be shared.
In what ways do you think Volunteer Marlborough could help to improve local volunteer programmes and further support not-for-profit organisations? (Volunteer submitted)
I would like to see a community mapping project that identifies the not-for-profit sector and the demographics of the communities they serve alongside a volunteer list of skill sets and numbers of volunteers.
What regional policies do you think are the most important for supporting our local organisations and volunteers in the sector so that they flourish rather than perish? (Volunteer submitted)
Regional volunteer credits that can be passed forward along the lines of redeeming volunteer hours as you age or donate them. Details of this scheme in Switzerland, can be found on my Deborah Dalliessi - Caring for Marlborough facebook page.
What resources and support do you plan to implement or maintain in order to continue to develop and support the not-for-profit sector as it stands? (Volunteer submitted)
I need to review, evaluate, and consult with the not-for-profit sectors to ascertain where council is currently at. Committing resources and support needs to be targeted and informed by those who benefit.
What message would you like to share with the volunteers of our region? (Volunteer submitted)
You are the lifeline of our community. Without your individual action and care, we cease to be human beings. You are valued and respected.
Thank you, Deborah, for taking the time to answer these questions!