AgeConnect coordinator at Age Concern Nelson Tasman Ruth Collingham with volunteer Wendy Barrett. Photo: Kate Russell.

Volunteering just for the love of it


When Wendy Barrett was made redundant just before her 65th birthday, she was far from ready to give up work.

“I’m not the sort of person who can sit around and do nothing,” she says.

With 13 years’ experience in the aged care field, she began volunteering for Age Concern Nelson Tasman, where she has proved to be an invaluable aide for the past two years.

Arranging outings and office work are just some of the things she helps with during her two days there a week.

Others like Wendy will be able to find out more about volunteering at the very first Nelson Connects Volunteer Expo this weekend.

Whether you’re a teenager, soon-to-be retiree, able-bodied or challenged, English speaker or learning – there will be something for everyone.

From arts and heritage, helping animals to supporting former refugees, there will be information on how to get involved at more than 30 community organisations from across the region.

Wendy says she gets a lot out of volunteering and would love to see more people in Nelson consider it, especially men.

“There’s always a need for volunteers – there is never enough, and I do it because I love it. My reward is seeing the smiles on people’s faces.”

The Nelson Connects Volunteer Expo is on Saturday, 7 March from 10am – 2pm at Annesbrook Church.