Volunteer Spotlight - Tamara

19 January 2022 | News

Recently we had the chance to catch up with another amazing young person who is out there doing some great things in the Marlborough community. Meet Tamara Livingstone....

What do you do when you volunteer?

I have done a lot of volunteering through school and in the community. For example, I was a member of the MYTAGs (Marlborough Youth Trust Advisory Group), a member of the Marlborough Youth Council, and recently I was appointed as the Youth in Parliament representative for the KaikĊura electorate. I also volunteer my time to create positive change by way of unity and inclusion within the community through my work with Race Unity Aotearoa.

When did you start volunteering?

I'm not really sure but I've been volunteering through different community groups and school since I was about 9 years old.

Why did you start volunteering?

I want to make a difference in my community and help those who can't help themselves. I have a passion for advocacy and want to create positive changes that will improve the world around me, even with as small an action as planting a tree.

Do you have a favourite part of volunteering?

The people I get to meet and the stories I get to hear make all the work I do and the time I put into it worth it.

How do you feel your volunteer work (or the work of where you volunteer) impacts the Marlborough community?

I think it's a positive impact. I try to help others as much as possible and putting a smile on someone's face or food on someone's table through volunteering is rewarding. I think volunteering has an incredibly vital role in keeping a community going and it is such a positive and uplifting thing for the community.

Why do you think volunteers are important to the community?

They help keep the community on its feet. If we didn't have people volunteering in our community, it would be a lonely place because volunteering brings people and communities together.

Is there a favourite volunteer event you've attended or something that really stands out as fun or exciting?

The Food Bank Appeal is always fun but I think organising and running an event where people volunteered their time to talk about racial prejudice and how we can improve things in our community was such a rewarding and enlightening experience.

Can you tell us about a particularly powerful moment you've had while volunteering?

Every moment is powerful, every smile you put on someone's face is meaningful, every time someone volunteers - they impact someone else's life in such a positive way. It's a powerful experience that makes every moment unforgettably magical and I enjoy every moment of it.

What have you learned while volunteering?

I learn every time I volunteer, whether it's someone's life story, or a new skill. It's something I love about volunteering.

Have you encountered any challenges while volunteering?

I have faced a few, whether it's working with someone I don't particularly vibe well with, or trying to carry large bags full of cans. But I find the best way to deal with challenges is to face them with a smile.

Is there anything you particularly look forward to each time you volunteer?

The people.

How do you think volunteering has changed your life?

It's made me who I am today and I am so grateful for it.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about starting volunteering?

DO IT! It's rewarding and the stories are incredible.

What do you do when you're not volunteering?

I work part-time in a supermarket, I go to school, and I try to spend time with my loved ones.