International Volunteer Day the perfect time to ensure volunteer sustainability


St John has launched a revamped Volunteer Sustainability Strategy, Mahi Aroha, to coincide with International Volunteer Day this Saturday 5 December.

The United Nations General Assembly is urging organisations to use this day to thank the work of volunteers and celebrate the impact they have in communities.

Without volunteers, St John would not be able to continue its vital work improving health outcomes for New Zealanders and Mahi Aroha sets out priorities for the next five years to reward, recognise and empower volunteers and give them the type of experience they signed up for.

St John has three volunteers for every paid staff member, with a massive 40% of paid staff also volunteering. In total over 8,000 dedicated people give their time to support the emergency ambulance service and the many St John community health initiatives.

Sarah Manley, St John DCE Community Health and Iwi Engagement says the strategy sought feedback from nearly 700 volunteers to find out what motivated people to continue volunteering.

“What we discovered is that we need to invest as much in the personal development of our volunteers as they bring to the volunteer role. We want volunteering for St John to be a lifelong experience.”

The strategy has identified four key priorities for the next four years which are: to increase the capacity of St John to manage, support and recognise volunteers; enable and empower volunteers to succeed; acknowledge and recognise the value of volunteers; and establish systems to track, measure and report results.

“Recognising and rewarding our volunteers for the tireless work they do need not be difficult. We’d love everyone to take a moment on Saturday to say thank you to those dedicated people in their community who volunteer to the many charitable organisations making a difference to New Zealanders” says Ms Manley.

Details on the strategy can be found here.


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