(06) 354 6027   /   0800 865 2687
Community House
77 King Street
Palmerston North
VRC Manawatu Resources Center

 Volunteering in action

1 June 2017 - We currently do not have any active pop ups at branch libraries in Palmerston North /Ashhurst.

We will provide details once these are reactivated.

In the meantime you can see some of the activities we have been invovled in detailed below. 

Outreach Introduction

What we  have done  





Outreach Introduction

As part of the Community Awareness Project, the Volunteer Resource Centre (VRC) has been looking at the development of satellite services in the city suburbs. For this reason, VRC surveyed community groups and organisations in Awapuni and Roslyn. We have been looking at what groups do, how groups operate and what activities groups provide and how VRC might be able to help them to increase their capability and capacity.
The aim of the project is to gain an increase in the numbers of ‘local’ volunteers who can contribute to their ‘local’ organisations. This will also mean that volunteers will have reduced travel costs and be more connected to their local community.
VRC started to develop its outreach services in the city suburban areas since Dec 2013. Through these outreaches, VRC offers its services which include providing information on all aspects of the volunteering and registering local volunteers in Palmerston North’s suburban areas, connecting communities and locals. VRC is very fortunate that suburban branch libraries support VRC with display areas and popups in Awapuni and Roslyn. Check VRC’s outreach service hours that can be found here  

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The Suburban team is overseen by the VRC community liaison assistant Ari Mendtsoo and is present in the suburban libraries providing information about volunteering and promoting locals volunteering locally. The outreach services are the first point of contact to the VRC services in those suburban areas. The team registers volunteers, explains the services that VRC provides for volunteers and for the member groups. Also, the team is closely engaged with the local communities such as REACH Roslyn and the Awesome Awapuni Groups.

        VRC Outreach in Roslyn Library                                  VRC Outreach display in Awapuni Library                                 awa

 What we have done

Some of the activities supported by the Outreach services include:

VRC organised placemaking events in Awapuni and Roslyn libraries.

 eco1 eco home VRC VRC pres placemaking eco talk

Nelson Lebo, the Eco Advisor from the PNCC introduced the public how residents can make their homes warmer and save power. VRC’s Community Liaison Assistant Ari Mendtsoo explained what VRC does and how locals can help and support their local community groups. Also, what can be gained from volunteering (what’s in it for me): utilise and develop your own skills, learn something new, meet people and make new friends, to belong, to contribute and to show you care, gain practical experience, increase your confidence and self-esteem, help to build supportive local communities.


The suburban team were actively involved in the community activities and worked closely with the Awesome Awapuni and REACH Roslyn groups. VRC provides event volunteers every year for the Awesome Awapuni Day and the Wacky Water Day community events and Longburn Community Day.

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The project Art on Fence was launched on Awesome Awapuni Day. The project produced art pieces of children in Awapuni from the local school, Kindergarten and Kohanga. This project involved local organisations such as Menzshed, Awesome Awapuni group, Passion Art and Palmerston North businesses such as Bunnings, Resene, Mitre 10.  

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A list of community organisations in Awapuni was developed from the suburban team. The list is available at the Awapuni library. (team photos)

Through volunteering communities and local people come closer. The suburban team always helped to bring local people together. VRC’s Awapuni suburban team organised an Awapuni street BBQ which enabled local groups and local residents come together and have conversations about what is happening around them and what could be improved in the area. 

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Suburban team members Vanessa H. and Diana Sh. talked on the Kia Ora radio about the work they have been doing as a team in the Awapuni suburb and available volunteer roles were advertised as well. (Ph

kia ora 

The Awapuni networking meeting that took place in September 2015, Age Concern and Awapuni Plunket came up with an idea of linking older people and young children together in some way. It was a morning tea where children interacted with old people discovering a care and a fun. It established a long-lasting cooperation between the groups. 

Suburban team and local volunteers helped at the events such as baking with Seniors, weeding and cleaning up the community garden tub on the corner of Pitama and College streets.

baking tub work Plant fair

The suburban team also supported local groups such as St Matthews Church in their Plant Fair and Christmas Carol in Awapuni, and Chiswick Park Rest Home with some activities for the residents. 



VRC Suburban team has been actively involved in the organisation of the local events such as Awesome Awapuni Day in Alexander Park  Awapuni, Wacky Water Day in Skoglund Park in Roslyn and Longburn Community event in Longburn.

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The VRC provided event volunteers who helped to contact the potential stall holders, to set up and to pack up. VRC suburban team members coordinated the recruited event volunteers who assisted with the cooking sausages, distributing food, manning activities, helping in other jobs that needed to be done at the events.

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Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival was supported by the VRC suburban team.  Team members helped to screen the short movies in Awapuni and Roslyn libraries.

 reel earth


Joint Projects

Since VRC’s presence in branch libraries, joint projects have been developing such as Multicultural reading program (Roslyn) Coffee Morning conversations (Awapuni  & Roslyn). Awapuni coffee mornings are now a famous place for locals to come to hear different speakers, meet up and have a chat and do fun activities. 

coffee morn coffee awa tea

Another VRC initiative, which has grown into a regular event in the central library, is the Multicultural Book Club. VRC provides volunteers who assist book club librarian Nora who chooses books for the day. The Book club is on every fortnight on Thursday from 12pm to 1pm at the city library.

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The Suburban team is working on a promotion for local people volunteering for local organisations. The local community grows stronger and unified when local people are helping them.


Further Developments 

In Highbury

VRC outreach services are expanding. The VRC suburban team member is present every Tuesday at the Highbury library from10.30-11.30am. The VRC display board has information to available volunteer roles as well as general information and application forms. 


Organisations in the Highbury area and volunteers are welcome to come and talk to us when we are there to ask questions and get detailed information.

At the moment we are requesting volunteers for the Dad's Day Out event which will be in Monrad Park on 13 November. You can also register online here. The VRC has been a part of the Whanau Ora event in the past.  

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In Ashhurst

The VRC outreach is working with the Ashhurst library, to find a suitable time to have a pop up in their space as well.

Ari M, the Community Liaison, who looks after VRC suburban team, has been seen at the Morning tea in October. A Display board with information about VRC and available volunteer roles are left at the library. 

Ashhurst Display

The VRC has volunteers registered who are willing to volunteer in Ashhurst and other areas in Palmerson North and Manawatu and the wider region.

The VRC's vision is connecting communities through volunteering. Therefore, the suburban team is interested in to be involved with the community groups in Ashhurst, and other suburban communities. We hope to develop a joint activity in Ashhurst in the near future.

At Massey

The purpose of VRC is building a stronger community through enabling volunteering.

The Massey University has a huge potential for volunteers. The VRC is looking for more diverse ways to involve students and young people in volunteering. We hope to open a popup on campus in 2017 and are working closely with MUSA to facilitate this. We hope to have volunteers from Massey helping to man this popup – so locals talk to locals.

The VRC suburban team have participated at the Massey Market Day in late 2016. The Market is organised by the Massey Sustainability Club. VRC hosted some of our member groups to promote their services and meet students. The suburban team also participates at the Volunteer Expos at Massey. 

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Photo Gallery

awa bbq AAD what youth want  Massey Vol expoELP Art on fence interview  Bunnings com day bbqVRC presen at PNCC Awa coffee art on Fence aad  bbq wwd  awa wwd volunteers bbq art massey club lb bbq ro youth  expo aad aaday bbq aad Quiz IPC