Ask a busy person and they will find time is certainly true for Neroli Cross

7 December 2021 | Articles

Ask a busy person and they will find time is certainly true for Neroli Cross

With a passion for volunteering, its not surprising that Neroli Cross, is a Volunteering Mid & South Canterbury/ Te Rōpū Tūao i te waenga o Waitaha and the Hotel Ashburton Volunteer Month as she is currently undertaking eleven volunteer roles

Neroli is so enthusiastic about her volunteering in our community and says she get just as much if not more from her volunteering as those she is helping. All those she helps are appreciative of what she does and that is her reward.
She knows she is fortunate to be in a position where she can help others and assist organisations. Neroli wants to make things easy for others and says’ if you are able to do things for others then why not do it”. For her the more she puts into an organisation the more she gets out of it.

For over a decade now she has been the booking convenor for the Stavely Camp. She says there are times when the camp is very busy.

When Neroli looks at the list of her current volunteering she says the roles mostly involve communicating whether it be on the phone or face to face and that suits her perfectly as she loves to talk and for her in this day in age communication is so important.

Communication is key in her role as a Caring Caller with St John. Ever week Neroli rings her client, they only know each other’s first names and they chat. They chat about how the week has gone, any concerns the client has, it is a phone friendship. She has made some deep connections with her ‘friend’ and it provides a vital service to someone in need of a friendly conversation.

Another of Neroli’s volunteer roles is reading the newspaper as part the Telephone Information Service offered by Blind Low Vision NZ. Every Saturday morning Neroli reads the Timaru Herald and this is recorded over the phone so members can then listen to the news.

Neroli’s volunteering crosses the generations as she also volunteers with Plunket as the Co-ordinator of their clothing exchange, where she receives and sorts good quality clothing for new born 5 year olds that can be then be exchange at the Ashburton Plunket rooms. She enjoys her time with the Rural Drivers Licensing Scheme where she collects those learning to drive and takes them to their theory lessons. While the person is doing their studies, she helps look after the children of those attending and then she drivers the learner home.

Hospice Mid Canterbury is another organisation she gives her time to helping at reception, assisting with administration, and delivering their newsletter around the business community.

And the list continues of her volunteering. Neroli is a back up driver for Presbyterian Support Home Share. She is her street co-ordinator for Ashburton District Neighbourhood Support and is now joining the Board that oversees this organisation.

As a member of the Mid Canterbury Timebank, she volunteers her time to provide support as well as offering a talent and helpfully allowing others to assist her with their talents as well.

Neroli also volunteers at both Ashburton and Mt Hutt College as a Reader/Writer- at exam time she could write the answers the student gives to the question, she could read the question out for the student who write their own answer or she may do both. “This roles requires absolute honesty as you have to write what the student tells you, even if you know its not correct”.

There is a saying ask a busy person and they will find time and Neroli certainly shows this is possible as the owner of Wrights Dry Cleaners with her husband and a community minded person giving her time and skills widely across Mid Canterbury.

We encourage organisations to recognise and celebrate their volunteers by nominating volunteers for the Volunteer of the Month awards. Nomination forms are available form -