Student Volunteer Week runs from 11 to 17 April. The Blind Foundation thanks all our student volunteers who make a difference to those who are blind or have low vision.
Student volunteers help with a variety of roles such as; mail reading, recreation support, guide dog kennel volunteering and collecting for our appeals.
Volunteering at the Blind Foundation is a great opportunity for students to put their talents to good use. Volunteering expands their experience and is a way for them to give back to the community.
Meet 18 year old Rebecca Welsh from Christchurch who has been volunteering for just over a year. Rebecca reads the obituaries onto our Telephone Information Service (TIS) weekly, and has also helped with the blind bowls end of year function.
“Rebecca is a delight to work with! She makes sure she checks the pronunciation of every name before she reads them on TIS,” says Petronella Spicer, Recreation Volunteer Coordinator.
“She began volunteering a year ago to gain service for her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. Though it is now completed, Rebecca will continue volunteering, as she has found the experience so interesting!”
We asked Rebecca what drives a young student like her to volunteer as a TIS reader.
She says, “I like to be of help to the Blind Foundation. I have learnt so much about people while volunteering in this role.”
Taylor Fifield is our new kid on the block. An Auckland University of Technology (AUT) student, Taylor volunteers for the Auckland Community Volunteer and Recreation team every Wednesday.
Taylor alternates between recreation group support and gym support. She recently accompanied our Recreation Advisors, Jon Scott and Latesha Sharp for 10 Pin Bowling in Botany as part of the New Outlook Group.
She has also helped our Gym Manager with the Amblers Walking Group for a walk in the Auckland Domain. Her guiding skills were ‘top notch!’
“Taylor only started a month ago and is already making a difference to our recreation programme! She is a keen learner and her enthusiasm is something staff and clients equally benefit from,” says Sue Vyas, Volunteer Services Advisor.
Taylor says she chose to volunteer at the Blind Foundation to gain experience in working with different members of the community.
“I want to develop an understanding of a community organisation, how it is run and how it contributes to the community. The Blind Foundation was a welcoming and friendly place for me to become a part of and am glad each time I walk into the building that I choose here to volunteer,” says Taylor.
“The last few weeks have been absolutely great! I am thoroughly enjoying volunteering and assisting clients with recreational activities. From the physical activity to the social interaction, I can genuinely see the Blind Foundation making sure these clients get what they need and want.”
“With its wide range of volunteering roles the Blind Foundation offers many opportunities for people of all ages to get involved” says Alison Marshall, the Blind Foundation’s Community Engagement Practice Leader.
“Our student volunteers are an important part of our volunteer workforce. As an organisation we provide services to clients of all ages, it is great to have volunteers who reflect that.”
Get involved and visit our volunteering page for more information on our volunteering opportunities.