Volunteers ‘invaluable’

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by Rachael Comer

Lions clubs are providing invaluable work which would otherwise cost community groups a lot of money, the region’s volunteering co-ordinator says.
Her views are backed up by a Timaru kindergarten head teacher who says the centre had “so much gratitude” for the work provided by the Timaru Suburban Lions.
Volunteering Mid and South Canterbury co-ordinator Louise Billinghurst said it was impossible to put a cost on the work Lions club members provided to the community, saying the efforts were “priceless”.
“Lions club members are the epitome of the values that volunteering is all about,” Ms Billinghurst said.
She said the clubs helped the community by “giving back”, often taking on projects that other community groups would have to raise money for.
“The Lions put so much back into the community and the whole community benefits from that, which is very important.
“Their value is absolutely brilliant.”
With more people living busy lives, she said Lions club volunteers stood out.
“I know some Lions clubs are struggling to get members but the ones that are members are just so invaluable.
people involved in some of the community projects Lions do.”
West End Kindergarten head teacher Rachel Pringle has seen first-hand the work Lions do.
The centre has been fundraising for the past 18 months for a new outdoor area and had raised enough money for the materials.
“We hadn’t raised enough for the labour, though, to build the deck,” Mrs Pringle said.
“Through word of mouth we approached the Suburban Lions and they very kindly offered to provide their labour for free. Without that generosity the project would have been delayed as we tried to raise more money.”
Mrs Pringle said the kindergarten had “very thankful” to the Lions and for the past few weekends club volunteers had been on-site, building the deck.
“Last week there were 11 members here working away.
“We have so much gratitude for them – they really give back to the community.”