B39 - Joining Groups
Joining different groups in your community is a way of meeting people, pursuing indoor or outdoor interests together and perhaps working on community projects together (eg,
environmental restoration, marae upgrade, fundraising for your local sports club).
You may already be socially active but want to expand the range of people you meet and experience new things.
The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has developed a list of four ways that you can become more active in your community:
- Volunteering - We are a nation of volunteers, giving hours of our unpaid labour in support of the things we value.
- Joining up with others - There are tens of thousands of groups around the country, both formal and informal, of enthusiasts, hobbyists and people of different cultures and
- Helping run a local organisation - You may be able to pitch in and support a local organisation by offering your skills to their committee or board.
- Having your say - Watch out for online forums and community meetings about issues that interest you, where you can join in and contribute your wisdom and experience.
If you have the time and inclination to be more involved in your community, there are a great variety of activities and groups you can join. Some groups come together for one-off
activities, while others meet regularly. Find the one that best suits your passions and commitment.
- Joining in will strengthen your connections with your community.
- You will become more active and socially engaged, which will be good for your general outlook and wellbeing.
- Volunteering can be rewarding - your efforts can contribute positively to improving the situation for others.
- There is no guarantee that the people involved will be inclusive and welcoming.
- Some volunteering can take an emotional toll (eg, visiting hospital patients). If you want to help support people in their times of needs, there are likely to be groups that
will actively support you to do this so you won't have to bear the emotional burden by yourself.
- It is easy to put more effort into your community project than is wise for your own health and wellbeing. Remember to commit only as much of your time and energy as you can
comfortably handle and look after yourself too.
What do I need in order to take this option?
Something that interests you needs to be available for you to join in your area.
Could this option limit my future choices?
No, it may even broaden your social and cultural horizons and future choices.
For more information
For more information about volunteering:
For more information about joining up with others:
- Meetups, a website that allows you to find groups of people who are interested in the sorts of activities you are. Often this site is used by visitors to the country, so you
can meet people from all around the world. See:
- Your local council or Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) may also be able to help you out with directories of groups that are meeting near you.
- Many neighbourhoods have neighbourhood support groups, see
B43 - Neighbourhood Support