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Meet the nominees for the Volunteer Recognition Event 2022

Allison Macpherson

Age Concern PN

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Alison MacPherson has been doing this for 10 years. I have seen her supporting an elderly person in the Community and then settling them into a Rest Home. Not an easy task and made even harder when Covid 19 hit NZ. Alison walked alongside this person, taking time to listen, reassuring, and holding her hand. Always a warm conversation. She has become involved with group gatherings of Seniors and can be seen with a clipboard paused, marking the guests, settling them in and serving them afternoon tea. Alison takes things in her stride, is reliable, well organized and a very kind person. Alison, Age Concern would like to take this opportunity to say, 'Thank you for all your help."

Grant Perry

City Mission PN


Grant Perry has been a volunteer van driver for the City Mission for 15 years. Each Tuesday, he collects our elderly folk from their own homes to attend the Friendship Centre for the elderly. He also collects the members from the ESOL class for former refugees. Grant then plays cards with the members and helps us with anything else required. It is people like Grant who help us to achieve our goals. Providing transport is one of the major roles as the folk we pick up can no longer drive. We feel Grant has made a huge contribution over these years. We appreciate the opportunity to nominate him for a volunteer recognition to show how much we appreciate him.

Shirley Byron 

City Mission PN


Shirley has been attending the Friendship Centre for the elderly for the past fifteen years. Ten years ago, Shirley started baking for the group on a Tuesday. The members have enjoyed many of Shirley’s muffins and loaves.
Although in her 80’s, Shirley also helps prepare the morning tea not only on a Tuesday but on Friday mornings as well. We feel this has been a generous commitment from Shirley over the 10 years and we would love her to be recognised for her work.

Umesh Ravji 

Digits Charitable Trust

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Umesh is one our star volunteers and has been volunteering for Digits for 2 and half years. He is regularly available, (we dont think he has missed one session), to help Digits families understand how to set up their chromebook devices which they use for their education. Umesh arrives early to set up and usually stays till the end to help pack down. Umesh always has great stories to tell us in between appointments and is a friendly guy who is very experienced with computers. If there is any problem with the device Umesh tries to troubleshoot it and enjoys remeding the issue. We enjoy having him as one of our amazing volunteers.

Anita Weber 

English Language Partners PN & Red Cross Refugee Support

Anita is a volunteer home tutor with English Language Partners and has been with us since early 2021. In Anita’s own words: “I enjoy home tutoring with English Language Partners because it takes an informal approach that enables me to use teachable moments as they arise. It's great to be able to respond to my learners' needs and help them learn English through relevant, real-world situations. Nothing beats the smile on a student's face when they succeed at something they previously found difficult".

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Mariana Alletson 

English Language Partners PN

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Mariana is a volunteer home tutor with English Language Partners. She has been teaching English each week, since the beginning of 2021, to a migrant learner from China. Mariana demonstrates the empathy and commitment that makes her such a fantastic volunteer home tutor. 
Mariana’s own words say it all: “I enjoy being able to support someone to participate in their community and to achieve their hopes and aspirations. I see our roles as being the bridge between where they are now, and where they want to go. Being a home tutor has helped to deepen my empathy and respect for migrants and refugees. Lessons aren’t just for the learner to gain English skills, but for the home tutors to also learn about how we can be better citizens”.

Vicky Forgie 
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Vicky has been an integral part of the establishment, development and governance of the Manawatū River Source to Sea (S2S) Collective which has gone from strength to strength in the last three years delivering two high level projects; The Plastic Pollution Challenge and the Southern Ruahine Kiwi Habitat Restoration Project (which she is secretary of and which she manages the Traps for Presents initiative for). 
Vicky’s incredible organizational skills, firm focus, ability to multitask (and get her hands dirty in the field to boot!) have helped staff, member groups, volunteers and projects alike flourish and grow. Vicky does an incredible amount of ‘behind the scenes’ work from writing minutes, coordinating submissions and supporting funding applications to answering a myriad of daily questions linking to her governance role. 

Manawatu River Source to Sea

Josie Brennan 

Environmental Network Manawatu 

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Josie completed an in depth and comprehensive brand audit for ENM in 2021 that has given an incredible frame of reference for a rebranding of ENM in 2022. Josie’s background is marketing, branding and communications and she used these skills in what has been a substantial contribution at a challenging time when she was suffering both injury and looking at transitions in her career. Josie is also a frequent volunteer at Plastic Pollution Challenge events often with her children in tow. She is deeply passionate about reducing plastic use and ensuring that our waterways have their mauri reclaimed. Most recently, she participated in an April 2022 clean up on Pioneer Highway.

Beth Lew

Manawatu Food Action Network

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Beth was instrumental in setting up the Growing Gardens and Communities in late 2020, and since then has played a lead part in the group’s day to day activities. As part of her role, she has gathered and now guides a small team of volunteers who go to individuals’ homes and install garden beds and provide them with ongoing support. The raised beds they install are beautiful, functional and are often made using recycled or repurposed materials and with a limited amount of funding and volunteers. Her enthusiasm and kindness are apparent to all those who work around her, and she has made a positive impact on countless lives during her time as a volunteer. This includes all those who she works alongside; whanau, other volunteers, and other community organisations. MFAN is deeply grateful for her time, expertise and gentle presence in our community.

Lance Pederson 

Foxton Beach Community Health Shuttle 

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Lance Pedersen is an 83 year old resident of Foxton Beach and for over 7 years has been the transport and driver coordinator of the Foxton Beach Community Heath Shuttle. Lance goes above and beyond for our Community and at 83 he does his Volunteer service to help the elderly in our Community who have not got a vehicle or cant drive. Lance used to drive the shuttle at least 2 days a week to either Palmerston North or Levin. This was, until September last year when Lance was assaulted in the line of his work. Lance put his legs outside the van and while putting his elbow on the horn gave the guy a gentle kick in his lower region. The guy took off and was later arrested in New Plymouth and got 26 months imprisonment for the assault. Lance received cuts and bruising to his face with delayed concussion and blurred vision. Although battered Lance still volunteers as transport and driver coordinator but is a bit hesitant to get back into full time driving. A truly Good Guy.

Mel Reeves 

Horowhenua Kapiti Pay it Forward 

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Over the past 9 years Mel has volunteered to help run and organise the Horowhenua Kapiti Pay it forward group. This is on top of raising a family and working two jobs!! This group consists of kind, caring community members that come together when there is a community need and donate all things from furniture, clothing, food, groceries, school uniforms, pet care, household goods, gifts and time to those in need locally. Mel co ordinates all members of the group. Every single small contribution comes together to be something quite remarkable. To be able to volunteer in this space so selflessly to ensure families & individuals are helped in so many ways. More and more people are needing assistance in every area of their daily lives and it’s volunteers like this that can help make the world a better place.

Kelly Fox 

Traffic Updates -Horowhenua Kapiti Wellington

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Kelly Fox has been volunteering on the traffic update-Horowhenua Kapiti social media page since December 2018. This was obviously seen as a much needed community need, crossing a large range of towns including our very own Horowhenua District. So many daily contributors that add the much needed content on traffic flow, accident & other issues around what’s happening on our roads, especially in real time. I’m sure there are certain challenges and issues that have been faced that Kelly would share. Observing this page over the past 12 months I’m always amazed at how accurate and timely the information is and how she handles herself and perhaps the odd off the radar social media key board warrior. As a public group they currently have an amazing 65.8k members. I believe Kelly Fox should be recognised for what an individual can achieve through seeing an obvious need and being proactive to create such an incredible outcome for more than just where she resides.

Kylie Tamakaha

Horowhenua District Council 

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Kylie is a caring and giving local woman who doesn’t like to see anyone struggle or miss out. She is a solo mum of two who also has shared custody of her nieces. Kylie is involved in many committees and always goes the extra mile to provide our local clubs with the support and equipment needed. She will always find a way to make sure people are fed and well looked after, from cooking people dinners that may not have enough kai to feed themselves, to clothing whanau from head to toe. Even while doing all this she still makes the time to visit a local resident in a rest home. The world would be a better place if we had more people like Kylie Tamakaha, she deserves to be recognised for her kindness.

Andi Leipst

Manawatu Lesbian & Gay Rights Association inc 


Andi volunteers his time helping the community with all in rainbow, along with providing his services and skills as a entertainer, preforming in drag at community events and fundraisers. In addition to his many years of services as a spokes person for the rainbow community.

Manawatu Lesbian & Gay Rights Association inc


Matt has provide and dedicated many years of service and support to the rainbow community, from hosting events in drag to being a key link for the rainbow community, matt has been able to draw on his skill and knowledge as a Social worker to insure that the voices of the community are heard, and that they can access the health services they need.

Matt Keen
Charlotte Tichbon

Manawatu Toy Library Association 

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Charlotte came to us over 2 years ago, supported by her family to use this volunteering opportunity to develop her confidence . From the start Charlotte had a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the Toy Library, which developed into her coming to volunteer up to 3 times a week. With her commitment to working 'behind the scenes' and her attention to detail, Charlotte found her niche photographing the toys for our online toy catalogue. Charlotte has shown a natural talent for producing a fresh photograph of each toy, with artistic flair. Using her computer skills, Charlotte then adds the photos to the database on our website, which keeps the catalogue up-to-date. Charlotte has made a vital contribution to the development of our new on-line catalogue, which means up-to-date photos are now available for members and the public to view. The Manawatu Toy Library team is very grateful to Charlotte for her support in this project.

Sheen Yee Goh 

Manawatu Toy 

Library Association

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We first met Sheen Yee through the Volunteer Central - she had come from Malaysia as a qualified vet. Sheen Yee was keen to practise her communication and customer service skills. Volunteering as a Toy Library assistant allowed her to work in a public serving role, interacting with children and their parents and carers as they visit the toy library to choose toys to borrow. Sheen Yee enjoys the challenge of conversing in English at the Toy Library, which also includes opportunity for friendly chatting with our Toy Library staff member and other volunteers. As a toy library assistant, Sheen Yee is also developing business administration and communication skills. Sheen Yee has been valuable to the Toy Library making sure our processes and practices are safe during the COVID epidemic, as well as recognising the positive impact of the Toy Library on children’s mental health which is a huge motivator for her


Manawatu Toy Library


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Our main contact at the Menzshed is Graham Slater - he has such a lovely manner and is a pleasure to work with. Graham pops in regularly to return toys he and his Menshed team have fixed, and to collect a few more to work on!
The Menshed team have a wide knowledge , and a wealth of experience which means they can fix many different types of toys, and also fashion replacements for missing parts to get toys functioning again.
Most recently they took a table and chairs set which need sanding, varnishing and re-painting - basically a full restoration job! This will be a key piece of furniture for children to use for drawing, crafting or snack-time.
We feel lucky to have the support of this community-minded group, who we know give their energy and time to many local groups and projects. 

Booths Transport
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The truck experience was a dream of a life time for Harlen. The gifts will be treasured by him and will take pride of place in his room at his home. But the memories that were created that morning will live within us all forever. I would also like to thank Crete and acknowledge his presence of the morning. He was the perfect fella to support Harlen with this experience. He made the morning even more special just to see how he interacted with Harlen. To see Harlen do his ‘ fist pump’ when he was having his photo taken, said it all…he must have felt top of the world.

Mash Trust 

Jess Jin 

Mash Trust

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Jess began her voluntary buddy role with the Friendship Service at the very beginning of Jan 2021. From our first meeting at the interview process, it was obvious that Jess was an empathetic, kind and loving person and would be perfect in her role as a buddy. Jess visits Patrick at his home and also supports him out for a drive, a walk and ice cream or another treat. Their connection is very special...the way his face lights up when she arrives at his home is so heart warming. Their relationship has grown so much and its all been on the foundation of mutual trust and just happiness enjoying each other's company and smiles. We are very fortunate to have Jess in our lives. She is such a humble person but we feel she deserves this acknowledgment and let her know just how much we appreciate everything that she does. Thank you Jess....keep shining brightly!

Kris Rutherford

Mash Trust

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Kris has been apart of our team since April 2021. She brings with her a great sense of humor, much fun and bubbliness and has made a significant impact in her buddies’ lives. Kris is a lady who does not enjoy the spotlight on her, instead she loves giving and she does this in the most compassionate way. Kris will support each of her buddies out individually to ensure they get 1-1 quality time with her. She spoils them with little thoughtful gifts and has shown them nothing but reliability since being apart of their lives. Their families are very grateful that their daughter and sister have Kris too, so we all want Kris to know just how special and valued she is, and we cannot express enough how we appreciate her gifting her time with us. 

Louise Moss

Mentor Ed 


Louise is a one on one mentor working with primary school children and had already been volunteering in schools locally before joining the team. The dedication and thought that she puts in to her mentoring is unrivalled. Going the extra mile to give kids new experiences which will last a life time in their memory. She has been one of our longest serving volunteers and we're grateful to have her on the team.

Vicki Brunton

Mentor Ed 


Vicki has always had a passion for working with kids and already had a good understanding of the extra support kids need when she joined the team as a mentor. Everything she does is with a smile. She strives in her work and her voluntary work to do more for tamariki in our community and has been a great asset to us for the previous 2 years.

Louise Dekker

Palmerston North Community Patrol

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Louise has and is a great asset to this Voluntary Organization. She has applied herself whole heartedly in all aspects and roles. She is a dedicated team player with a heart of gold. I do hope she has a good chance. Recognition is important, particularly in Voluntary roles. Good luck Louise.

Toni Ferris 

Palmerston North Community Patrol

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Tony started with Palmerston North Community Patrol about 10 years ago as a patroller, she then became team leader and eventually coordinator she works out of the Highbury Police Station during the day and then give of her time at night patrolling the streets and city of Palmerston North and outlying areas, she is always available to step in when someone is unable to do their shift. Toni is also involved in ensuring all patrollers are trained to a high degree and are up to date with police radio procedures. She also works in conjunction with Neighborhood support and safer plates ensuring vehicle number plates are securely fastened. I can't speak highly enough of Toni.

Jill Spicer

Red Cross PN

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Jill has been a long-standing volunteer for Red Cross since her retirement in 2006, 16 years ago! She became involved with both the Red Cross books operation and refugee support side supporting several newly arrived families to Palmerston North, under what was then Refugee Services. 

She volunteers as a book sorter, has been on the Red Cross Branch Committee and plays a major role in the organizing of the very successful annual Red Cross Book Sale. 

Jill has shown excellent advocacy skills for former refugees in the community some of whom she continues to support long after her official placements have ended. The Red Cross would be lost without her! 

Glenys McHutchon

Skills 4 Living


Glenys has been a volunteer of our organisation for the past 2 years.  Glenys has come from an accounting and treasurer background and has become as asset to the budgeting aspect of our service.  Glenys is a constant at any trainings we offer and provides valuable input to our mentor meetings, to which attends regularly.  Glenys is always available either at the end of the phone or in our office to meet and engage with our clients and offer a listening ear along with her expertise.  
Glenys has always been one of the first mentors to put her hand up for any task we need help her and does it well.  

Pam Good

Skills 4 Living

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As well as volunteering for Skills4Living, Pam also volunteers a lot of her skills and time for Levin Rotary and The Levin Adventure Park Trust. Pam has been our chairperson for six years and in those years, has been a supportive fixture within our office and organisation. She somehow manages to remember all the staff’s birthdays and will always pop in when passing to see how we are doing and if we need any help. Pam champions all our projects and promotes our service throughout the community. Pam is still a relieving teacher within the Horowhenua and has done so most of her career as a teacher. This has made Pam well known and respected through the generations of children and parents she has taught. We are very grateful for all the support and kindness Pam has shown Skills4living and we are very lucky to have her within our organisation.

Judy Mathews

Work Manawatu


Judy came to volunteer for us in approximately February 2021. She brought skills and experience in sorting, stock management and a willingness to try anything. She also took on the task of cleaning and of running our drop in hrs each week, allow board members to focus on developing the services. We could not have developed to where we are now without the amazing contribution from Judy. Judy has recently 'retired' from most activities. We will miss Judy's regular contribute, but we welcome her to return when ever she feels the need to give!

Alana Blair



Alana is a dedicated and very reliable volunteer with SuperGrans. She regularly puts her hand up to help with our preserving projects, one on one mentoring, and other activities whilst also being a valuable member of our governance board. Alana has a wealth of knowledge and is always kind and empathetic to everyone, in any situation and from any background. Alana is respectful of others and we respect her and the contribution she makes to SuperGrans immensely!

Patricia Hayes 


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In the short time Patricia has been part of the SuperGrans team she has made a big impact and blossomed doing the things she enjoys. We love having her as part of the team; she offers valuable feedback, offers to take part in lots of different types of work, and is a pleasure to work alongside. Patricia is all the things you hope for in a volunteer - reliable, patient, committed, a good communicator and most of all - she has a laugh with the team.

Beverley Dowling

NZ Animal Evacuation

nominated by HDC

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Beverley collaborates with the SPCA, local rescues and volunteers with NZ Animal Evacuation that helps rescue animals in disaster situations and provides support and safety for owners and pets and hours of her time providing educational and welfare support to the community. Her personal motto is “Leave no animal behind.” She was part of the team that provided care for recently deserted Orca (Porirua), Toa (pictured) and is often called out at all hours, to help animals in need, scrapes up pets off the side of the road, scans them for microchips in hopes of connecting them to their owners and transports to local vet clinics, transports abandoned pets to vets for treatment or on behalf of families who can’t take them theirselves. I could write pages on this passionate and amazing lady and her many many achievements.

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention

- Oscar Wilde  -


You are part of a team of 1.075,000 people volunteering in Aotearoa. The work you do is part of the $4 billion per annum economic contribution, and 159 million hours of formal volunteer labour each year.

It is impossible to measure the number of lives improved by your work and commitment. By offering your time and skills to help others, you create something bigger than yourself and you have set a powerful example.

Thank you for supporting our communities by giving people in need a helping hand, the hope of a better tomorrow. For sharing your knowledge with grace and enthusiasm. For showing us that in order to make a difference in the world, all we need is kindness. 


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Helen Worboys
Mayor of Manawatū District
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Bernie Wanden
Mayor of Horowhenua
Chris Atherton
Whatunga Tūao | Volunteer Central Chairperson
Nuwyne Te Awe Awe Mohi
Rangitāne o Manawatu
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Tangi Utikere
MP for Palmerston North


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We are honoured to have Janetta Mandeno and Lyal Brenton, once again, as the MC's for the Volunteer Recognition Event. This is a very successful combination that brings joy to the ceremony in a professional and memorable way. The duo are perfect ambassadors for the event as they are both widely engaged with the local communities through volunteering. 


At Whatunga Tūao | Volunteer Central, we aim to create meaningful connections, therefore, having MCs that are part of the volunteering community is so important. As volunteers themselves, Janetta and Lyal truly connect with the nominees and share their passion for helping others.

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Lyal Brenton

Lyal is the Palmerston North Town Crier. He has extensive voluntary roles including Big Brother Big Sister mentor, Board Member of the Just Released Accommodation Trust and Palmerston North Community Services Council.

Get in touch with Lyal:

Janetta Mandeno

Janetta is a local celebrant for marriages, civil unions, and any ceremony. Her voluntary roles are extensive including Whatunga Tūao | Volunteer Central as an office volunteer, MidCentral Hospital as a trolley salesperson, and St John on the Outreach Therapy Pets programme.

Get in touch with Janetta:

Thank You!

We are so proud to have hosted our 9th Volunteer Recognition Event. The purpose of the VRE is to thank volunteers by recognising their efforts and showing them our appreciation. Volunteers change people's lives by offering their time and skills to help others, asking nothing in return. You are inspirational!

Dear nominees, this celebration is for you as a symbol of the community's appreciation for your time and effort in supporting our communities.

Our special thank you to the volunteers that helped this event happen, from Rangitāne o Manawatu [Nuwyne Te Awe Awe Mohi] for the blessings and opening, the MCs, the event, and office volunteers, all our appreciation. You are awesome! Without your help, we wouldn't be able to host such a fabulous event. How remarkable it was!


We want to thank the organisations that put volunteer names forward and for their presence in the event supporting their volunteers. Also, we really appreciated the Mayor of Manawatū District Council, Helen Worboys and the Mayor of Horowhenua District Council, Bernie Wanden, for handing the certificates to the volunteers. Our thank you to the nominees' families and friends for your support and, last but not least, our sponsors and supporters that allowed us to brighten up the event.

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