Questions for Candidates - FRITH CHAMBERLAIN

29 September 2022 | News

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 FRITH CHAMBERLAIN:

What role do you think Council has in supporting a thriving Marlborough region for the voluntary & community sector?

I see Councils acting as an advocate for NGOs and voluntary organisations. To help encourage networking and information sharing alongside funding models.

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?

Volunteers are the thread that keeps the fabric of our community together, they are often unseen in their worl. Organisations are finding it hard to find volunteers to fill many roles as are many for-profit businesses. One example I would address is the opportunity to share gardening/farming skills between senior citizens and youth.

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?

Our volunteers are committed and passionate people whose work ensures society functions effectively. They should not be belittled in any way. Yes, volunteers are an important part of society.

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?

Every community member acts as a volunteer when they check on their neighbours after natural disasters or traumatic events. It is important to encourage this continued empathy.

How do you see Council and community organisations working together to build a robust, resilient, and welcoming region and community?

I see Councils acting as an advocate for NGOs and voluntary organisations. To help encourage networking and information sharing alongside funding models.

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?

Ward Councillor is a paid role and seen as part-time employment. However, the role itself requires many more hours of commitment to our communities, this is unpaid and voluntary.

What impact do you perceive volunteers to have in our community? (Volunteer submitted)

Volunteers are the thread that keeps the fabric of our community together. They are often unseen in their work.

Have you ever volunteered, and would you recommend it to others? (Volunteer submitted)

I was a proud ambulance volunteer and spent over 500 hours per year unpaid for many years. I regularly volunteer my time giving service to many areas of my community. Examples of this are voluntarily running exercise programmes, sitting on environmental committees, and Red Cross First Response teams.

How do you think volunteers and not-for-profits could better the community even further? (Volunteer submitted)

Many people feel pride and a sense of purpose when volunteering. This in turn helps to create resilient communities in general.

In what ways do you think Volunteer Marlborough could help to improve local volunteer programmes and further support not-for-profit organisations? (Volunteer submitted)

Unfortunately I haven't had time to look through your organisation however I would love to chat when we get together next.

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)

Policies that let organisations make many decisions unhindered by red tape or rules.

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)

If elected this would be an ongoing learning journey, looking at the past, present, and future needs for the not-for-profit sector.

What message would you like to share with the volunteers of our region? (Volunteer submitted)

Thank you and please know you are seen and heard. Keep going, you are an important part of Marlborough.

Thank you, Frith, for taking the time to answer these questions!