Marlborough Volunteer Community Awards

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Marlborough Volunteer Community Awards


The Marlborough Volunteer Community Awards are a partnership between Volunteer Marlborough and Marlborough District Council to recognise volunteer groups making valuable contributions in the community and collaborating or partnering with other groups for the same benefit.

Any not-for-profit group or organisation working in the interests of the community may be nominated.

The awards are to recognise past and current achievements acknowledging the role of volunteers in the governance and delivery of services.


Nominations must be made by completing the online form. Additional support information can be attached to individual nominations.

  • The judging panel will consider the following factors:
  • Effectiveness of activities/programmes/services
  • Impact within the community
  • Volunteer input – hours and numbers
  • Numbers benefiting


Arts, Culture and Heritage – organisations and groups which enhance and increase participation in the arts, creative leisure activities, and heritage

Environment and Conservation – organisations and groups working to improve or revitalise the environment

Sport and Recreation – organisations and groups working to increase participation and enjoyment in physical sport, leisure activities, and recreational pursuits

Child/Youth Development – organisations and groups working to improve and enhance the educational and social development of children and young people

Community Social Services – organisations and groups working to improve and enhance the health and social well-being of our community

Key Dates 2020

Nominations open: Wednesday 1 July

Nominations closed: Tuesday 28 July

Awards night: Thursday 27 August

Marlborough Volunteer Community Awards Winners 2019

Marlborough Volunteer Community Awards Winners

Arts, Culture & Heritage Category

Runner Up – Picton Maritime Festival Trust

The team of volunteers that run this event meet monthly throughout the year planning and carrying out the multitude of tasks needed to pull off this now looked forward to annual summer event.

These tasks cover everything from securing sponsors, entertainment, safety and security, logistics, food stalls, stage and sound equipment to name just a few.

Co-ordination of the many volunteers that make this day successful is also a key task as it would not happen without their support.

Always looking for ways to make the festival fun for families and visitors to our region has kept this event an integral part of the summer events calendar and one not to be missed.

Congratulations to the team of volunteers responsible for making this happen.

Winner – Marlborough Civic Orchestra

The main focus of this group is to promote appreciation of orchestral music in the community through regular events that showcase local talent. Encouraging members to develop skills and perform within the community is key to achieving this.

Young people participate in Upbeat Theory Club and Upbeat Development Orchestra both run by volunteer teachers. The focus on this is learning through fun.

Training weekends with talented musicians and concerts in the ASB Theatre have all been co-ordinated by volunteers passionate about developing and showcasing talent.

This has resulted in rapid growth in numbers showing that orchestral music and appreciation is thriving in the Marlborough community amongst all ages. This of course would not be without the hours of dedication provided by the volunteers making this happen.

You only need to attend a concert to know how appreciated this work is. Congratulations.

Community/Social Services Category

Commendation – LandSAR Marlborough

This is an organisation that most would not know a lot about until they are needed and that is when this organisation is at its best.

Whether someone has got lost in the bush or a person with dementia that has wandered away, LandSAR rallies to find and reunite people back with their families.

Many hours are spent training and when called for the volunteers step forward and work tirelessly often in rugged environments to search for our missing family members.

These volunteers are unsung heroes and worthy of commendation for their work.

Runner Up – Marlborough Hospice Trust

There are many ways volunteers are involved in the Marlborough Hospice service delivery including the Hospice Shop. The volunteers that run the shop Monday to Saturday every week raise are large part of the $700,000 that is needed for the Trust to raise each year.

On any day there are 10 volunteers that sort donated goods, clean and mend items and then price and stock the shop. They also run the store and engage with customers many of whom are now regulars.

We hear that these volunteers enjoy their “job” and especially the social time that comes with it.

The end result is that much needed funding goes to deliver specialist palliative support services for over 1,100 people and their families each year.

The work of these volunteers is valued and much appreciated in our community.

Winner – Selmes Garden Trust

The Trust provides people with disabilities a chance for meaningful employment and currently have over 21 working at the centre. They also support Marlborough Boys College special needs students and people with ACC needing to rehabilitate.

This is all managed by having 15 volunteers working in the nursery on a weekly basis.

All of this provides not only an affordable nursery for the community at large but also a nurturing environment and much needed social network all of which adds to their independence.

It is clear that without these volunteers giving their time every day this would not be possible.

Congratulations to all the volunteers involved.

Sport & Recreation Category

Runner Up – Hockey Marlborough

This group exists to organize and promote hockey in our region from primary aged children to adults. Volunteers are a key component to this from coaching teams to improve their skill development through to umpires who are there for every game.

In addition, they get involved in fundraising for much needed equipment and an example of this is the fundraiser to get LED turf lights. All of this means hockey is enjoyed by many in our community - learning the game in a safe environment.

Older youth are also given the opportunity to coach and umpire which keeps their interest and maintains their involvement in the sport.

A true example of what volunteers achieve on a regular basis in our community.

Winner – Marlborough Touch - Junior

This group has 120 volunteers collectively doing an estimated 500 hours per month to keep this game alive and well in Marlborough.

There are a range of activities that volunteers do from coaching and managing teams, refereeing games through to fundraising to keep the game affordable.

The task of co-ordinating the competitions is a large task in itself and this is completed by one volunteer who spends 15 hours a week to make sure everything runs smoothly.

With 90 junior teams playing you can see why there are so many volunteers needed to coach teams and run competitions. Because of the work they do, Touch is accessible to our young people and caters for all fitness and skill levels.

This is another great example of the value of volunteers in our community.

Child/Youth Development Category

Winner Equal – Graeme Dingle Foundation

The Graeme Dingle Foundation exists to equip our young people with skillsets, attributes and values that they need to be successful in their lives. This is achieved through their Kiwi Can programme that engages over 2,200 primary school children each term and the Career Navigator programme for secondary school students which provides an invaluable link between college age students and local employers.

These successful programmes would not be possible without the volunteer work behind them fundraising to make this happen. Major fundraising events such as Dazzle Marlborough that raised $75,000 are undertaken by volunteers along with donations of time by models, chefs, service support staff and much more.

Other volunteering happens through the Career Navigator mentors who give their time to mentor young people with many of these mentors coming back more than once to support this programme.

All this volunteering comes from passionate people who believe in investing in our young people who are our future. They are all deserving of acknowledgement and our thanks.

Winner Equal – Marlborough Youth Trust

Marlborough Youth Trust delivers events, opportunities and programs for youth in Marlborough. These include programmes such as CACTUS, Youth in Emergency Services, Youth in Employability programme. All of these programmes and the regular youth events would not be possible without the support of volunteers.

The volunteers are also often young people themselves through their Youth Advisory Group who are provided with opportunities to develop skills and experience by taking up leadership roles and support for event management all voluntarily.

In addition, the Trust supporting these activities spend many volunteer hours making sure the governance is in place that supports this work along with planning and implementation of the new My Space youth development centre that recently opened.

This volunteering shows the passion and commitment to supporting young people in our community and is to be commended.

Community Star Award – Bryan Strong

While these awards are not for individuals one person has come to our attention that is worthy of acknowledgement.

Bryan Strong has gone above and beyond to get the Marlborough Sounds Community Vehicle Trust off the ground including:

  • identifying the need in the community
  • researching models in other areas
  • putting all the systems in place including establishment of the Trust to manage the service
  • arranging for the pilot project using Omega Rental cars
  • screening and training volunteers
  • securing vehicles once the need was proven through the pilot stage
  • doing all the arrangements for the bookings as they come in

I am sure you will all agree with me that this is a mammoth task and one that Bryan has undertaken with passion. This has often meant when he has come to road blocks he has not taken “no” for an answer instead looked for solutions.

While the service was first set up for the Picton and sounds areas it become clear that it was also needed in Blenheim so Bryan being Bryan expanded the service to accommodate this need. Additional cars and volunteers were needed but that challenge was soon overcome so that Blenheim people could also have transport support to access health appointments in Nelson.

This is of course not the only volunteering Bryan does as he is involved in other groups that benefit the community.

We want to take this opportunity Bryan to thank you for your tireless efforts, for being tenacious to get this service up and running to meet the needs of the many people that are now using it.

You are a wonderful role model and are truly a “Community Star” who has gone above and beyond for your community. So on behalf of the community we thank you Bryan for your service