Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background

Volunteer in Wellington - Lara

I grew up in the UK and moved to NZ at 17 to start my first degree in nursing. I currently work as a Registered Nurse in Wellington Intensive Care, and while I love the varied and exciting role, I have found a passion in advocating for those who are unable to represent themselves. This interest in advocacy has now led me to my second degree, and I am currently undertaking a Bachelor of Law at Victoria University.


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

I currently volunteer as a crisis-line worker for Wellington Women’s Refuge, answering calls outside office hours and supporting women living in domestic violence situations; this may be in the form of a friendly-ear at the end of the line, or taking further steps to ensure the woman’s safety. This role is extremely important, as situations can escalate quickly and women may need refuge intervention before the next working day, so volunteers are relied on heavily during these hours.

I also volunteer for the Wellington Community Justice Project within the welfare advocacy team, which involves helping people going through the district court system to access various welfare services.


Volunteering gives me opportunities to apply these skills in a way that makes a real difference to the community!

Why do you volunteer?

I have gained some valuable skills from my nursing, and continue to expand upon these through my law degree; volunteering gives me opportunities to apply these skills in a way that makes a real difference to the community!


Who is your biggest hero or inspiration?

My biggest inspiration in life is my mum; she has always balanced having six children and a healthy career, whilst somehow finding the time to champion causes she is passionate about, such as addiction services and animal welfare.


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

Never be put off a dream because of the time it will take to achieve it; the time will pass anyway.


What do you love about Collaborate?

I love that Collaborate recognises that every person has at least one valuable skill or ability that they can offer to make a difference. If you can do it, there’s probably a cause out there that needs it!