Volunteering at Stepping Stones
Honouring the collective energies and mana of volunteers in Aotearoa
Meet Neil Burrow, one of our wonderful volunteers at Stepping Stones, Dunedin. Neil is a busy man, helping people who, at the moment, are building bird feeders. Neil is nurturing, kind and supportive in a way that empowers people.
How long have you been volunteering at Stepping Stones?
About six years. I used to be a volunteer at the North End Rowing Club. When Stepping Stones go for a harbour walk, I take them up to the rowing clubrooms for a cup of tea afterwards.
How did you get involved with volunteering?
I heard an advert on the local radio. I used to be a plumber/gas fitter and woodcutting was part of the job so I have quite a lot of experience working with wood.
What do you do in your role at Stepping Stones?
I spend every Thursday at Stepping Stones. I bring my lunch, and we all sit and eat together. The people decide what to build, and I help them. For some, coming to Stepping Stones is the only place that they have a say in what they do, something they have control over. We have been big on bird houses, and Lilliput libraries. We made a great seat for Ross Home from old bed heads. School students have come and made big boxes for sports equipment and garden boxes for Brockville School.
What do you enjoy about volunteering?
Seeing how people progress and their smiles when they look at what they have finished. Just being here and talking to people, seeing their confidence grow when they have a say in what they do.
What’s your advice to someone considering volunteering?
There is something for everyone, come along and try it. If it’s for you then great, connect with people and you will both get something out of it.
Banner: Volunteer Neil Burrow, helping with the wood cutter at Stepping Stones.
What is Stepping Stones?
It’s a Family Works day programme working alongside clients who are facing mental health challenges. By coming to Stepping Stones they gain skills, learn how to make informed decisions, and are connected with their wider community.