The Christchurch
Brick Show
LUG 4/2


Volunteer Stories

Parisa | 2017 - present
"I applied for volunteering at Imagination Station online at Student job search and started volunteering because I love helping people and want to be useful to society. I learned a second language of English. I want to show empathy towards others and I know what it is like to struggle and need a helping hand in my home country, so I wanted to do the same here in my new home (New Zealand). I love to encourage others, because of my personal struggle, I understand the power of pushing through and never giving up. I’m also passionate about children and I want them to feel loved and safe around me.

Since volunteering, I have grown more confident. Previously, I have been quickly turned down by people because of my disability, but since going through training and interacting with customers as a volunteer at Imagination Station, I have found my voice. Volunteering has given me the power to aim high and reach for what I want. I am so passionate about kids being happy and learning.

I want to encourage others to volunteer! It's the best experience, the best thing done in my life. You gain a completely new experience, that can contribute to whatever you want to do in life. Even when it gets difficult, you learn to keep going and you always learn something from it."

Parisa has recently become a Volunteer Leader, taking on more responsibility by helping train new volunteers and supervising them in our general play area. Parisa is truly a breath of fresh air, proving to us all every day that no matter your circumstances, there’s no limit in what you can do. Imagination Station is proud to have such a bold and inspiring volunteer like Parisa.

Bart | 2016 - present
"I started my volunteer journey around the beginning of August in 2016. I was looking for a part time job around that time and it suggested I look on a volunteer website for any interesting jobs. I found that Imagination Station was looking for volunteers, so I applied for it and got the job.

During my first few shifts there I wasn't too sure of what to do, but over time I got to know a lot of new people and friends while improving my volunteer skills. Then about a year later I was volunteer of the month and I wasn't expecting it at all. Over the next couple of years later I got to meet so many people and my friendships grew as well. I got to experience a lot of cool things over the time since starting like volunteer evenings, holiday programs like brick school, pop up play areas and much more.

What I gained out of my time here is more confidence talking to customers and getting various tasks done around Imagination Station. Since moving to Turanga library in 2018 from Cathedral junction, it has gotten a lot busier and we've had a lot more people coming in and it has been keeping me busy helping with the Lego and library staff.

Recently I applied for a volunteer leadership position to become a volunteer leader and I got the job! I'm excited to help lead other volunteers and be a good leader. How my life changed since starting is that I got to meet lots of people and make lots of new friends along the way and experience a lot of different things as a volunteer. I'm enjoying my time as an experienced volunteer and as a Volunteer Leader and I hope to see you guys down at Imagination Station."

Bart is easily one of our most approachable volunteers, something we at Imagination Station find invaluable. It has been a privilege to see him further develop his leadership skills, and make Imagination Station a warmer place to be.

Yiting | 2018 - 2020
"I relocated to Christchurch after leaving a fast-paced and learning-packed job. I wanted to take a break, to wiggle off my preset career path for a bit to try something new. I also wanted to give back a little, as I was given lots of opportunities to grow till that point. And when my friend who was once a volunteer there told me about Imagination Station and nudged me ‘why don’t you check it out?’, I felt a click - I love children, I love to be creative; it was also different, as I didn’t know much about LEGO. It’s not something I grew up with in China back in my childhood. So it intrigued me instantly and I applied for the Volunteer role on Imagination Station’s website.

It was challenging, initially! I felt a bit nervous and self-conscious seeing how natural the kids were with the bricks while I had no idea what some pieces were for (we have so many different types of pieces) and didn’t know how I could help them. But there was constant support from the staff and the fellow volunteers. They encouraged me to keep trying and have taught me many tricks with LEGO and tips to interact with visitors. Gradually I got a bit better and more confident at what I do and even led a couple of Brick School holiday programmes!

I came to Imagination Station with a goal to give back but somehow it humbled and grew me. It forces me to be a beginner, reignites my desire to learn, and lets me embrace the importance of play. I feel I’ve gained more than what I’ve given."

Yiting joined our team with so many ideas and skills to offer our organisation. She was helpful with finding certain bricks for builders in our play area and inspiring ideas for our customers with her own cool creations. Yiting is a natural leader and also bilingual, she used these qualities to help with our new volunteers and mandarin speaking community, making them feel welcome. She is an excellent example of a volunteer using their gifts and skills to make others in the community feel welcome.

Caitlyn | 2018 - present
"I started volunteering at the Imagination Station toward the end of 2018, when they had just moved into their new facilities at Turanga library. I really enjoy volunteering as it gives me an opportunity to develop my interpersonal and problem solving skills, responsibility and initiative. These will be valuable attributes that I can use for the rest of my life. As I honed these skills, I became involved in teaching classes, running holiday programmes, hosting birthday parties and facilitating popups around the city. Imagination Station has provided me with the opportunity to develop both as an individual and a leader and provides the opportunity to interact with people from a variety of backgrounds. I value my time spent volunteering at the Imagination Station and being part of the team that provides an opportunity for Christchurch children to learn new creative skills."

Caitlyn is a natural with people, she has grown in many areas across the board. Caitlyn is one of the few Volunteers who has helped out in almost everything we host, classes, birthday parties, pop-ups. She has confidence beyond her years and is incredible with our visitors.