Nate Whitfield

A volunteer viewpoint is very useful for paid staff, says Nate Whitfield of his experiences with Hato Hone St John.

Nate has been involved with Hato Hone St John since the age of 12 when he aspired to be a paramedic, and now has three volunteer roles as well as a part-time job (20 hrs p/w) with the fundraising team.

“We are enabled by volunteers, so being a volunteer helps me understand and relate to volunteers.”

Last year Nate was the Hato Hone St John National Cadet of the Year, and says support for young people comes from the top – the organisation’s Chancellor is an advocate for youth.

“[Hato Hone St John] youth programmes can be a pipeline into governance roles. Even when you are the only young person in a room, there are advocates all around.”

Nate is on the Volunteer Support Group – a governance committee formed to whakamana (give effect to) the voice of St John’s 9,000 volunteers. His experience of how policies and systems affect volunteers is very relevant.

Challenges facing volunteer management include working towards digital equity of access and broader representation in leadership.

He is also on the St John International Youth Advisory network, one of two people representing New Zealand.

It’s a wonder Nate has time for his University studies – completing a BA in Māori Studies and English, and planning to go on to a Master’s degree in Communications. But you get the feeling his volunteering experiences will take him far.

Find out more about volunteering with Hato Hone St John.