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Bored and looking for something to do? How about helping out by making a regular phone call or taking somebody for a walk? Something that will take relatively little time for you could make a huge difference in the lives of other people.

Volunteer display, South Library

Volunteer display, South Library. Flickr CCL-2012-04-05-IMG_1042

Student Volunteer Army

The Student Volunteer Army (SVA) was set up following the quakes of 2010 and 2011. Its focus is on encouraging young people to volunteer in their community.

The SVA is connected to the University of Canterbury, but you don’t need to be a student to help out.

Gap Filler

Gap Filler is another post-quake initiative that loves volunteers. Gap Filler creates cool activities in the vacant sites of our city. Think the pedal powered cinema, the mini golf course, and more.

Volunteering Canterbury

Volunteering Canterbury was set up in 1988. It has a membership of more than 250 not-for-profit, non-governmental organisations, and is always looking for people who will donate a little of their time to help others.

Manager Ruth Gardner says people are always surprised to see the wide range of volunteering positions available.

Most people think volunteering revolves around health or social services, she says. They don’t think about sport, the environment, the arts, culture and heritage. It is not just about giving services to others, people can also do things that will help the planet or make events like Christmas in the Park possible.

Lots of opportunities

A lot of positions are just once a week or once a month. There are lots and lots of different opportunities which is why most people find something that suits, Ruth says.

Learn skills, improve your CV

Ruth says volunteering is not only great fun, but can help people experience new things and develop new interests.

It gives you the chance to learn new skills or use skills you already have. It is a good opportunity to meet new people and become part of the community. It is especially good for young people who are looking for some work experience. It looks good on a CV and they can get some practical experience in an area they are studying.

Search for a position

At any given time, Volunteering Canterbury is looking to fill positions ranging from cattery assistants to drivers delivering food and from gardeners to chess players.

Examples of positions are:

In most cases, training will be provided and there may be a minimum time commitment required, but most positions are highly flexible.