Volunteering has enabled Ben Goddard to give back to his community while making friends and learning a lot.
Ben is the secretary for the Central Otago Lakes branch of Forest and Bird, providing administration support including applications for funding, media representation, social media updates and health and safety programmes. He also takes part in outdoor activities, including planting trees and trapping predators.
Being a volunteer enables him to meet people from different ages and backgrounds. Ben is in his mid-twenties, but other committee members are a lot older, and have been working in conservation for many years.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to benefit from all their wisdom,” he says.
Ben is also a first responder for the Wanaka Volunteer Fire Brigade. He says there is an incredible team at the Wanaka station, and he has been able to train with people who have many years of expertise and dedication.
Volunteering has provided him with an opportunity to make friends, learn new skills and have experiences that he wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise, he says.
“There is certainly a huge scope for significant professional development from putting your hands up and volunteering.”
Forest and Bird
Interactive Volunteer Stories Map
This story was shared as part of our interactive map of volunteer stories from across Aotearoa, which we launched during #NVW2019. This map is filled with stories from volunteers throughout Aotearoa, New Zealand. This map celebrates the contribution of volunteers in their communities throughout Aotearoa. It aims to inspire people to engage in volunteering, Mahi Aroha and social action and to realise the benefits of weaving their communities together through their actions.