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Volunteering is about "strengthening people's mana"

Volunteering is about "strengthening people's mana"

Image of Manaaki Tāngata Victim Support volunteer Wendy Keate

For Victim Support volunteer Wendy, the volunteering she does is about strengthening people’s mana and giving back. Based in Mangere, Wendy did her volunteer training with Victim Support in November 2020. She’d always wanted to do something to support her community, but couldn’t figure out what. Then she saw an ad for Victim Support on Facebook and knew she had found what she’s been looking for.

“I knew Victim Support was the right fit for me,” Wendy says.

“I’d seen people suffer through trauma in the past and felt helpless. Now I’ve had training, I feel much more confident in my ability to help. I can find signposts to point people in the right direction, and say to them ‘you’re not alone.’

“All it requires is my voice and my time, which I’m happy to give,” she says.

Volunteering with victims of crime or trauma wouldn’t have been something Wendy would’ve thought herself capable of when she younger. She thinks life experience has taught her how to be strong and resilient. "Whenever I feel a bit nervous, I just remind myself of the purpose of Victim Support, why we do what we do. I actually keep the purpose document in front of me to refer to when I need it."

“I don’t do this on my own. I have help from an amazing team of people at Victim Support.”

Wendy’s husband and teenage son are incredibly supportive of her volunteer work.

“I didn’t really have anything that connected me to my community before I started with Victim Support,” Wendy says.

“My husband was always encouraging me to find something I enjoyed doing, and he’s very happy for me now that I’ve found something I love.”

Wendy also gets a lot of support from her Team Leader.

“The first time I went to the Otahuhu Police Station to meet Charlie, I was quite scared. But as soon as I met her, I knew straight away I was in good hands, she is just awesome.

“I don’t do this on my own. I have help from an amazing team of people at Victim Support,” Wendy says.

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