15 June 2018

The contribution of more than 6000 volunteers enables the Blind Foundation to provide vital rehabilitation services for people who are blind or have low vision to live a life without limits, live independently and participate fully in society.

This National Volunteer Week, 17 – 23 June, Blind Foundation volunteer engagement leader Sue Vyas would like to thank volunteers for their generosity and support.

“The contribution our volunteers make is invaluable. Thank you to everyone who has given up their time to help our community. The generosity and commitment of our volunteers puts us in a much stronger position to support Kiwis who are blind or have low vision to get on with living the life they choose.

“Our volunteers provide technology, recreation, logistics, communication and social support. They help us with all sorts of tasks including with our guide dogs, fundraising and providing library support, and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them.”

University student Emma Crabbe is a new volunteer for the Blind Foundation. She supports the Dunedin community with a large variety of tasks.

“I really enjoy volunteering here because there is such a wide range of things to do. I do tandem biking, driving, I walk people around the hospital, and I walk a beautiful little guide dog and I just really enjoy everything about it. There’s such a lovely community here.”

Retiree Anne Pentecost has been volunteering with the Blind Foundation for 15 years. She is a narrator for the Telephone Information Service (TIS), a bespoke audio information platform that Blind Foundation clients access via a landline.

“What keeps me going is the feedback I get from people who listen to the service. I know that they need it.”

Vyas says it’s contributions from people like Emma and Anne which have helped sustain the Blind Foundation for more than 125 years.

“National Volunteer Week is a chance to recognise and celebrate the vital contribution our volunteers make – they are the heart of communities.”