Meet Chantelle! Chantelle is extremely passionate about volunteering and has recently joined the team as a Brand Ambassador.  She volunteers to give back, inspire and help make a difference.

What do you do for Collaborate and why?

I am Hamilton’s Brand Ambassador for Collaborate. I’m brand new to the role but will be promoting Collaborate to both local organisations that are looking for volunteers, as well as community members. I absolutely love and feel so passionate about what Collaborate stands for, and believe that it is already having an incredible impact, and holds even more potential. I, therefore, am so excited to be able to expand and grow Collaborate so that those in Hamilton can benefit from this incredible initiative. I am passionate about volunteering and the benefits it holds, and enjoy advocating for this, and helping others realise and engage with this.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background

I was born in Hamilton, grew up in Rotorua, and moved back to Hamilton last year for University study. I’m in my second year of a Bachelor of Communication Studies (Majoring in Leadership Communications) at Waikato University, which I’m loving! In my spare time I enjoy helping organisations such as Collaborate, but also love to read, watch movies and bake.

What volunteer opportunities have you been involved in or are you currently involved in?

I recently found an opportunity through Collaborate to volunteer for Step Changers, so I now help them out. Here in Hamilton I volunteer for Seed Waikato, which helps young people in the community connect and grow, as an Events Activator. For the past few years, I’ve been volunteered with an anti-bullying organisation called Sticks’n’Stones. I’ve been involved with an environmental organisation Boomerang Bags, and help out with Waikato University’s op shop Eco Emporium.

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer because it is something I genuinely enjoy and feel passionate about. I love that volunteering enables people to put their skills and strengths to great use, in a way that may help others reach their full potential, or may have a positive impact. That’s what I really care about – doing my little bit to positively influence someone else, even in a small way. If we all contribute a little bit, and each use our own strengths to advance the lives of others, I believe that’s when we really flourish. It also serves as a great way to express gratitude and appreciation for what my community has enabled for me, but in a way that has positive and continuing effects for the future.

Who is your biggest hero or inspiration?

I really admire Dan Flynn (from Thankyou) and Bindi Irwin! But my biggest inspiration comes from my parents, who are my daily role models and provide me with endless support and encouragement.

What is your mantra or what is the most important value you live by?

I would have to say “small acts of kindness add up to make a big difference”. I try to enliven this everyday by doing something small that may make a difference to someone else.

What do you love about Collaborate?

I love how Collaborate really breaks down volunteering and what it means. It simplifies the process of becoming involved and makes it easy for anyone and everyone to engage with volunteering in one form or another. The opportunities available are so diverse and unique, going beyond what a typical “volunteering” role would look like, meaning there is something for everyone. It is strengths-based, in that it allows people to find volunteer roles based on their interests and skills, so that everyone can use their abilities and passions to make a difference. I love the values behind Collaborate, and what Collaborate stands for; they are very genuine and really resonate with me!