We have many valuable volunteers at Plunket who give us their time and skills. One such volunteer is Carmen Peterson who has been volunteering for Otago Plunket for close on 4 years, almost since her son Riley was born.
Carmen, a chef by trade, juggles part-time work, being a wife and mother and still manages to volunteer for Plunket. Craig, Carmen’s husband, also does his part in their Otago community as a member of the volunteer fire brigade.
I can honestly say the reason I joined Plunket as a volunteer was due to the awesome support I received from both my Plunket nurse and Karitane nurse when Riley was born. I felt by becoming a Plunket volunteer, I was giving back some of that awesome support that I received when I needed it the most.
My biggest challenge since becoming a volunteer at Plunket was when I took on the Area Volunteer Education Co-ordinator role. I am quite a private, shy person, so I needed to step out of my comfort zone and confront my fear of public speaking. Two years ago I would never have done it so for me volunteering for Plunket has helped me learn to push my own personal boundaries and get out of my comfort zone.
A sense of humour, ability to have fun, spare time to give, helping out when needed, keen to gain new knowledge, new skills, and make new friends along the way. Why not give that time back to your community by volunteering? At the end of the day it is the volunteers that are the backbone of all our community groups including Plunket. It would be great if our children and grandchildren have the chance to benefit from these essential services.
For me volunteering has given me many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I recommend volunteering as it really gives you a great feeling knowing you are doing your part to help keep this service alive and well in your community. It also builds your own confidence, your knowledge, your life skills, while riding this huge wave of fun, excitement and the unknown!
I have gained confidence in myself, and in the things I do. I have gained many new skills that should see me through life, I have met some wonderful people, made new friendships, and most of all - I now attempt to do things that are well and truly ’out of my comfort zone’!!!
Are you interested in giving something back to your community? Contact your local Plunket now and become a volunteer!