RebeccaHay

Lawyer volunteers her time at RDA

Published: 14/11/2019

 

Rebecca Hay really believes in volunteering - so she said as she swapped her professional work attire for gumboot boots at Whanganui's Riding for the Disabled (RDA).

 

This story was originally published in the Whanganui Chronicle and on nzherald.co.nz and is republished with permission.

By Lucy Drake, 5 November 2019.

Images: Lucy Drake.

 

A lawyer by day at Armstrong Barton and a board member for Volunteer Whanganui, Hay was given the opportunity on Monday morning to get a direct insight into one of Whanganui's organisations and what they do.

It comes as part of the annual I Dare You campaign, which Volunteer Whanganui manager Sandra Rickey created four years ago in celebration of International Volunteer Managers Day on November 5.

"It's all about raising awareness of volunteering because it was International Volunteers Managers Day - it was for managers, business leaders and people of importance to step up and volunteer for a couple of hours."

This week various prominent locals are giving their time to help local organisations, including Whanganui Mayor Hamish McDouall, who wrote Christmas cards for the 1062 volunteers involved with Volunteer Whanganui.

With Hay not shy of horses, she jumped at the chance to spend a few hours with riders and staff of RDA.

"It's a great opportunity to meet people, gain professional skills and just to, particularly when I moved here, become part of the community."

Hay moved to Whanganui from Wellington at the beginning of 2018 and found an opportunity through Volunteer Whanganui to be part of Girl Guides.

Previously she has volunteered at Youthline and while at university worked at the community law centre and a child and family residence.

Her volunteering experiences at university helped to kick start her legal career, now working in family law.

Hay said volunteering for Youthline was an amazing experience which taught her a lot of skills and developed an interest in working with young people.

It is this interest, her willingness and her different life experiences that she brings to the Girl Guides' volunteering role, she said.

"I get so much out of it but also, hopefully, it's good for girls in particular to have interactions with a whole range of people in the community with different jobs, ages and different life experiences."

She said she was happy to just get stuck in for two hours and do what was needed for both the riders and for RDA staff.

The organisation, which supports 67 riders aged from 4 to 59, and houses 13 horses, needs to raise around $445,000 by June 30, 2020, to buy the Purnell St land they are using.

So far they have raised close to $250,000, RDA Whanganui manager Wendy Sellars said.

They have a number of fundraising events coming up in December and the new year for the community to get involved with.