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Youth Volunteering Focus For Volunteer Awareness Week

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

24 April 2009 - Recognising and encouraging volunteering by young people will be the main focus for Volunteer Awareness Week 2009, to be held 14-20 June.

The Week is co-ordinated by Volunteering New Zealand with the aims of highlighting examples of volunteering and encouraging new volunteers to offer their service.

"There are many examples of young people - those between 12 and 24 - volunteering in their communities," said Tim Burns, Executive Director of Volunteering NZ.

"They include those who participate in programmes such as the Young New Zealanders Challenge, who take lead roles in Scouts and Guides or the YMCA and YWCA, initiatives which they have set up themselves such as Students Against Drunk Drivers or who become involved in volunteering programmes through their schools or tertiary education."

At the same time, census information suggests a smaller proportion of those in the 12-24 age group volunteer than those who are older. Encouraging more to become volunteers is therefore crucial as they are the volunteers for the years ahead as well as today.

"An added reason is the international evidence that many of those who first volunteer at a young age continue to volunteer throughout their lives," said Tim Burns.

There will be national and local events throughout the week that will highlight examples of volunteering and the opportunities available for youth as well as older people.

One of the main national events will be a special forum being organised by the Generosity Hub whose objective is implement strategies which will grow the level of giving in all its forms, including volunteering. The forum will provide an update on the Hub's work a wide range of people from the community sector, business, academia and government.

At the local level, the 14 established volunteer centres will organise a range of events, working with local community groups. National and locally based groups from a wide cross-section of the community will also have events to acknowledge their volunteers and attract more to their volunteer teams.

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