The spotlight is on the efforts of young people volunteering in the community this week.

Student Volunteer Week 2022, a national campaign from Volunteering New Zealand, with the theme of Takoha, Whakatipu, Tuhono (Give, Grow, Connect) aims to highlight the impact of high school pupils volunteering in the community, and encourage them to give it a try.

According to Volunteer South Central Lakes, volunteering helps pupils to gain knowledge, experience, and create change within their communities, as well as connect with peers and people who share their same passion and interests.

Throughout Central Otago and Wanaka, high school pupils regularly volunteer in the wider community through initiatives such as The William Pike Challenge, Duke of Edinburgh Award, Mount Aspiring College’s Students in the Community and activities arranged through dedicated school service committee volunteers.

Volunteer South Central Lakes manager Gillian White said young people had a lot to offer community organisations.

“Young volunteers bring so much to the organisations they support, a fresh energy, passion and many new skills and ideas.”

The organisation works with schools throughout the region to engage pupils in volunteering, including supporting Dunstan High School and Mount Aspiring College pupils volunteering on teacher only days.

Pupils were involved in activities such as planting natives, cleaning, baking, and collecting for the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal.

“We had the pleasure of working with Dunstan High School and Mount Aspiring College last year, connecting over 100 students to their community through volunteering on teacher only days and are looking forward to re-establishing this work when the risk of Covid allows,” Ms White said.

The organisation was working to highlight the benefits to organisations of opening their doors to young people.

“There are young people keen to volunteer focusing on supporting them to become active volunteers.”

Student Volunteer Week 2022 finishes Sunday.