For Student Volunteer Week, we chose to highlight the work of Maria Kerstens who has been volunteering in our Wellington office since December 2018. Maria is a student at Victoria University and wanted to use her summer break productively. She contacted us in November to see what volunteer opportunities were available.

Our Health Advice & Research team had been searching for someone to collect and collate client feedback, so Maria’s offer came at the ideal time. They were delighted to have her assistance within the team and she quickly settled in. Her work was both thorough and expeditious. And as an added bonus, she filled in some missing gaps in our knowledge when we got together to an office quiz!

How it started

Maria first starting volunteering as a teenager at her local Salvation Army family store and enjoyed the experience of giving back to the community. She decided to offer her services to Arthritis New Zealand as she has a family member living with arthritis. Maria also recognised that it was an opportunity to get some real office experience before she graduates.

“I’ve learnt more about data entry and improved my research skills. I’ve been encouraged to speak up and voice my thoughts to the rest of the team. It’s fun being in the office environment”, Maria says. She says that she would recommend volunteering to other students as it’s a great way to get to know people and pick up new skills.

How to be a student volunteer

If you are a student and would like to be a superhero and volunteer with Arthritis New Zealand, there are many different opportunities around the country:

  • In our offices in Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington
  • At one of our local support groups
  • In the Annual Appeal in September

Contact Isaac on 022 526 9907 or email Isaac.parker@arthritis.org.nz to find out more.

Thank you to Maria and all our student volunteers!

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