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Volunteering is about "strengthening people's mana"

“We don’t have to have all the answers, we just have to listen to what someone needs in the moment and let that guide us.”

For volunteer support worker Wendy, the work she does is about strengthening people’s mana and giving back.

Wendy smiling

Based in Mangere, Wendy did her support worker training with Victim Support in November 2020. She’d always wanted to do something to support her community, but couldn’t figure out what. Then she saw an ad for Victim Support on Facebook and knew she had found what she’s been looking for.

“I knew Victim Support was the right fit me,” Wendy says.

“I’d seen people suffer through trauma in the past and felt helpless. Now I’ve had training, I feel much more confident in my ability to help. I can find signposts to point people in the right direction, and say to them ‘you’re not alone.’

“All it requires is my voice and my time, which I’m happy to give,” she says.

Volunteering with victims of crime or trauma wouldn’t have been something Wendy would’ve thought herself capable of when she younger. She thinks life experience has taught her how to be strong and resilient.

“Whenever I feel a bit nervous, I just remind myself of the purpose of Victim Support, why we do what we do. I actually keep the purpose document in front of me to refer to when I need it,” Wendy says.

Wendy’s husband and teenage son are incredibly supportive of her volunteer work.

“I didn’t really have anything that connected me to my community before I started with Victim Support,” Wendy says.

“My husband was always encouraging me to find something I enjoyed doing, and he’s very happy for me now that I’ve found something I love.”

Wendy also gets a lot of support from her service coordinator.

“The first time I went to the Otahuhu Police Station to meet Charlie, I was quite scared. But as soon as I met her, I knew straight away I was in good hands, she is just awesome.

“I don’t do this on my own. I have help from an amazing team of people at Victim Support,” Wendy says.

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If you'd like to be there to help others in your community like Wendy, we’d love to hear from you! Click here to find out more about becoming a Volunteer Support Worker.