National Volunteer Week | Sarah Campbell

As National Volunteer week comes to an end we round out our focus on our cricket volunteers doing great work in other codes during the winter months.

Next up, it’s Sarah Campbell.


What is your involvement with cricket in Wellington?                                                                                             

I am the mother of four cricketers! My daughters Iris (16), Phoebe (14), Lily (13) and Tessa (11) all play both club and school cricket. I am an avid sideline supporter, as well as travel coordinator, bus driver, and snack provider during their games and training. I also love to watch the Blaze and Firebirds in action at the Basin, the best place to be on a beautiful Wellington summer day!

I’ve had the privilege of being part of the Women and Girls Cricket Working Group for the past few years. It’s been awesome to be part of a group of motivated, committed volunteers advocating for cricketing opportunities for women and girls.


With it being the off-season for cricket, what other codes do you find yourself involved with & in what capacity?

All my girls play football, and Lily also plays rugby in winter. Again, I’m sideline support crew but I’m also on the Capital Football Women’s Advisory Group – like our cricket working group, we aim to support Capital Football in providing footballing opportunities and pathways for women and girls.


How did you start your journey as a volunteer?

I started volunteering when my oldest daughters were pre-schoolers. I was approached to take over the coordination of a local playgroup in Titahi Bay – which I did for four years. This led to joining the Whanau Manaaki Kindergarten Association Board, which I sat on for several years. I have sat on the Titahi Bay School board for nearly ten years now, with the last five of those as chair and I have recently joined the Tawa College board. I was a founding member of the Titahi Bay Community Group, a resident’s group initially established to provide a vehicle for the Titahi Bay community to liaise with the Porirua City Council. Seven years on from its establishment as an incorporated society, the Titahi Bay Community Group is still going strong!  I’m passionate about education and community, since I’m hopeless at fundraising, I feel that using my skills and expertise in governance is a way I can contribute to the success of our schools, communities and sporting organisations.


What motivates you to volunteer your time amidst a busy schedule?

I enjoy the interaction with a wide range of people from all over the Wellington region. I’ve always had a strong sense of social justice and with both the community, school and sports roles I have held, I feel like I am able to contribute to equitable opportunities and outcomes for both students and sports participants.


How do you balance volunteering with work, family etc?

I’m fortunate to have a very supportive husband, who encourages me to take up such opportunities. My job as a Governance Adviser for the New Zealand School Trustees Association is flexible and provides me with great work-life balance. I rely on my Outlook calendar to keep track of meetings and sports commitments – I would be lost without my phone for emails/phone calls while I’m out and about! I also hope my daughters see the value of volunteering and service to your community through my involvement in boards and advisory groups.


What do you think could be done to get more people involved in volunteering?

Encouraging existing volunteers to mentor and support people to become involved. With our digitally-connected world, social media can be a great way to share messages and opportunities with people and the ability to connect using tools like Zoom can also help to break down barriers to participation in working groups.


What must organisations do to retain & reward volunteers?

I don’t volunteer to be rewarded but it is always nice to be thanked and recognised for your work, whether it’s a verbal acknowledgement, an email or a card. I think it’s also important that organisations recognise that people’s time is precious – if someone is giving up their own time to volunteer, an organisation should make sure that communication and organisation is clear and that time in meetings or at events is used wisely.


Tell us about a volunteer that inspires you.

I’m inspired by Kerry Delaney, the principal of Titahi Bay School. While her ‘day job’ is principal, her huge heart and commitment to her community means she volunteers time, energy and aroha in many ways outside school. I have learnt so much about relationship building and empathetic and empowering leadership from her and am grateful for friendship and mentoring.

Article added: Thursday 17 June 2021