Kathy Webb says she’s always had trouble saying no when asked to volunteer for anything.

The current chair of Western Bay of Plenty Neighbourhood Support, and a Street Coordinator in Bellevue, is now in her 70s but shows no signs of giving up contributing yet.

It was soon after she joined Neighbourhood Support that she was asked to go on the committee after several committee members had left. She’s also on the board of Alzheimer’s New Zealand in Tauranga and was on the National board for a while.

“The same thing happened there. I’d been on the board for a couple of years when the then chair asked me to take his position, then left. I’m a regular volunteer for the street collection where you meet the most interesting people.”

She’s been a Rotarian for 11 years, and project lead for its flagship event, Treasured Art – a major art exhibition and auction held last month, and which is now held every two years.
Why does she do it?

“Over the years I have learnt a lot, particularly in the admin, management and IT areas. It’s a shame not to share the knowledge. If there is a problem I often can see the solution and then I want to fix it. And I want to do it NOW.

“I am a very poor judge of how long it will take to do something – in my mind it all seems too easy and very quick to do. But in reality…

“I love meeting new people and I like to help people where I can. How people see life is intensely interesting. Almost everyone sees things differently and they all have their own motives and life experiences. Humour is a great tool and I love to laugh at myself, others (if they can take it), life, circumstances, in fact I just love to laugh – it’s so energising and motivating.

“And I’m very bad at saying no, but I’m working on that.”