New Plymouth woman Andrea Jupp just loves lending a helping hand.
The 43-year-old, who has volunteered for Taranaki Land Search & Rescue, the Festival of Lights, Rugby World Cup and Plunket, was one of 70 people helping out at last week’s TSB Bank New Zealand Surf Festival.
“I’ve done everything this week from traffic control, selling t-shirts, providing sunscreen and cooking the food in the kitchen,” Ms Jupp said.
The Alziemhers Taranaki administrator said the liked volunteering because it exposed her to different experiences.
“I volunteer because I like learning new skills and meeting new people. Variety is interesting and makes life fun, and I enjoy being helpful and helping the community,” Ms Jupp said.
The surf festival also allowed her to learn more about a sport she was unfamiliar with.
“I had no idea about surfing so it’s been really interesting learning how the surfers get scored and how it all works,” she said.
“Now I want to have a go. I’ve been meaning to for years.”
Amy Stewart, who worked in the kitchen, travelled from Waikato to volunteer at the festival.
“I help out in the kitchen, washing dishes, cutting up food, taking coffee orders and delivering food for the judges and surfers,” the 22-year-old said.“I heard about the festival at a surf camp held here over Easter weekend, and knew I had to be involved.”
Festival director Craig Williamson said volunteers helped make the festival possible.
“They are crucial. We couldn’t do it without volunteers, they have been fantastic,” Mr Williamson said.
The unpaid helpers were involved with everything from catering, security, rubbish collection, checking passes, assisting the judges to updating the festival’s social media websites.
And although no cash changed hands, Mr Williams said volunteers were fed three times a day and generally well looked after.
“We are keeping them refreshed, giving them t-shirts and putting on a thank-you BBQ when it’s all finished,” he said.