Originally from the USA, Anne came to New Zealand/ Aotearoa in 1991 when her husband got a job at Massey University. Like many who come from other places, she arrived, and she stayed, largely she notes as ‘it’s a lovely place to live with a great climate and a nice lifestyle.’

When her two children left home Anne was keen to find something to be involved with, and volunteering was a natural step. Anne notes that ‘my family have  always been involved in community stuff… the way I was brought up, is that you have the time and capacity then doing volunteer work is something someone should do to  give back to the community you live in. It enriches you and the community’.

Anne realized that through working in Palmerston North all her professional life and her kids going to school there that she had had not made connections with where she was living and wanted a volunteer role within her own rohe of Pohangina. The Society for the Resilience and Engagement of the People of Ashhurst and Pohangina (RECAP) ticked all the boxes, and she has been on their board for  12 years, 10 years as secretary. When asked as to the ‘why?’ of such a significant volunteer stint, Anne notes that she has met ‘so many good people… and I’m finding out more about the local community, which has been really empowering… you can get things done, but  sometimes it’s about not accepting a situation as it is  and it has taught me that change can happen which is a great life lesson’

Anne is also an active part of the Palmerston North Repair Café Committee and a volunteer book repairer at their monthly events.  Anne was a book repairer at Massey Library for over 20 years and enjoys the Repair Café as ‘ It keeps me using the skills I gained in my professional life as not many people comfortable  or have the knowledge to mend books’. She has enjoyed meeting a whole new group of people and using her unique skills. She notes it is very ’low stress’ volunteering and a wonderful experience for all involved.

RECAP is a member group of Environment Network Manawatū and Palmerston North Repair Café is one of its projects. Find out more at www.recap.org.nz and on Facebook @palmerstonnorthrepaircafe.