3 Dec 2020

In the lead-up to International Volunteer Day, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel is saying thank you to all the volunteers in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula for the work they do.

“Volunteers make an invaluable contribution to our city and deserve to be recognised for their hard work and commitment,’’ says Mayor Dalziel.

“As we prepare to mark International Volunteer Day on 5 December I want to thank, on behalf of the city, all those people in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula who help out as volunteers.  The countless hours you give for the betterment of your community, and your city, is greatly appreciated.’’

Mayor Dalziel says Christchurch City Council regularly calls on volunteers to help with projects such as community planting days, working bees and graffiti removal.

“Without our volunteers, we could not accomplish nearly as much as we do each year,’’ the Mayor says.

“The COVID-19 lockdown disrupted our volunteer programmes but even so nearly 40,000 plants have been put in the ground this year thanks to the efforts of volunteers working with our parks staff.

“We estimate about 9000 volunteers have helped in our parks this year, taking on activities such as weeding, mulching, predator control, bird monitoring, and track maintenance and development.

“Volunteers are also the backbone of our graffiti removal programme. We have 175 volunteers, aged from nine to 82, who help us, both by reporting graffiti and assisting in its removal.

“In the past year nearly a third of the 15,272 reports of graffiti the Council received were made by our Graffiti Programme volunteers. The eight groups that work with our staff to remove graffiti paint over between 80 and 150 square metres of graffiti each month so they do a fantastic job,’’ Mayor Dalziel says.

“We also have dedicated teams of volunteers who work behind the scenes to support our libraries, our art gallery, and to ensure our Botanic Gardens continue to be a world-class attraction.’’

Mayor Dalziel says without the tireless efforts of volunteers, most social agencies and community groups couldn't do what they do.

“Volunteers are at the heart of so much of the activity that happens in our communities. In the last financial year the Council, through the Strengthening Communities Fund, made grants to 415 community initiatives, with volunteer hours totalling 1,886,289.

“That illustrates to me how strong our volunteer sector is and how much people are willing to do to give back to their communities,’’ the Mayor says.