Wellington Peoples Centre is an exceptional community organisation which provides affordable dental, health and counselling services as well a fantastic benefit rights service. The staff of volunteers and paid workers are literally lifesavers for many low-income families.
As a former volunteer advocate I was keen to do anything to help, hoping for some filing or photocopying to rest my stressed political brain. However the Benefit Rights Service – who live by detailed paper trails to help beneficiaries get their full entitlements – had other plans for me! They got me to help out on a funding application because they knew I had been a skilled volunteer doing funding applications for the Tairawhiti Beneficiary Advocacy Trust before I came to Parliament.
I was happy to be there because the organisation is the best of the best at giving practical help and respect for all people in our communities. If you want to see skilled volunteers and inspiring leadership, start with them. As they also point out, beneficiaries are not the losers implied in government rhetoric but are volunteers holding families and communities together. They deserve to be celebrated!