Contribution to Plunket recognised


by Claire Allison

June Boulden’s three sons have long since passed their Plunket days, but she is still a stalwart of the organisation.

Mrs Boulden has been named Volunteering Mid and South Canterbury’s latest volunteer of the month, receiving a certificate, a volunteer pin, and a voucher for local restaurant Little India.

She was nominated for the award by Plunket South Canterbury, for her volunteer work over the past 21 years.

“June has a wealth of knowledge and is always the first to come and give a hand on any event or new programme we are running.

“The amount of time, energy and expertise she has given to Plunket is extraordinary,” the organisation’s nomination said.

Mrs Boulden began volunteering with Plunket when her sons were little.

“A friend at Pleasant Point asked me to come along to the committee meeting .. and then from there, the secretary left and I became secretary, and it went from there.”

She has served as president of the Opihi branch, which included Temuka and Pleasant Point, became involved with car seat rentals when she had her third son, started music and movement classes in Pleasant Point, and became involved in efforts to establish a toy library for the area, eventually becoming patroness.

“You just pitch in and do whatever needs to be done.”

“I was toy buyer for the library, my lounge at home was chocka with toys my kids weren’t allowed to touch.”

When she moved to Timaru about seven years ago, Mrs Boulden became involved with the toy library here, has been Plunket’s family centre manager for 15 years, and also has a paid role as a community Karitane.

“You just pitch in and do whatever needs to be done.”

She said Plunket was there for her when she had her children, and she wanted to give something back.

“Other people moved on to kindergartens and schools, but at Pleasant Point, it was a small community, and I just stayed with Plunket. And because I was doing car seats, it worked well together.”

The death of her husband, and bringing up three boys on her own did not stop Mrs Boulden from lending a hand where she could.

“I took a bit of time off [volunteering] but if it suited me, I did it. I did have a year off work, because my children were my priority.”

She has always believed in the worth of the projects she has been involved in.

“The toy library, I think it’s awesome being able to offer that to people who can’t afford toys .. I used it for my children .. and music and movement in Pleasant Point – you don’t always want to be travelling in to town for everything, you could meet your own community people, and not have all your contacts in town.

“I found it really beneficial, getting out to meet people, and I just want other families to have the same experiences.”

Plunket community services leader Jane Denley said while Mrs Boulden was seen as a paid member of staff through her work as a community Karitane, that was a fraction of her contribution to Plunket.

“What she does behind the scenes in a voluntary capacity is absolutely huge.”

To nominate someone for the award or inquire about volunteering, contact Lou Billinghurst on (03)687-7364 or or pop into the office at Community House, 27 Strathallan St.