Online volunteer hub goes live

HelpTank logo Professional skills... doing goodA new digital marketplace is now live, which connects professionals keen to donate their skills and not for profits needing their expertise.

The Who Did You Help Today Trust developed HelpTank so not for profits can get the specialist help they need pro-bono, when they need it. This is the first nationwide specialist service to focus on a skills-based volunteer approach.

Trust founder Stacey Shortall said their research showed community groups often struggled to engage skilled volunteers. Volunteers reported it challenging to connect with an organisation needing their area of expertise. Employers offering paid volunteer leave generally have low uptake of their programme.

“There are good local and sector-specific volunteering services within New Zealand but there is an identified gap around specialist skills. Not for profits deliver vital services that strengthen communities socially, economically and environmentally, so it’s important they can efficiently access a full suite of skills to maximise their impact,” Stacey says.

The HelpTank platform has been built with significant financial support from Z Energy and following a pilot involving thirty not for profits and volunteers from NZ Post, Z, Spark and Westpac.  

We want to hear from community groups needing specialist skills pro bono and work to match them with the volunteers we’ll be bringing onto the site in coming weeks.

Our initial focus as we launch is mobilising staff with paid volunteering leave as we grow the supply of specialist skills the community sector seeks, but the platform is available to all New Zealanders who wish to use their professional skills pro bono.  In coming months, we will increase HelpTank’s reach and impact as we scale up.

Contact Chelsea Fredrickson
Email chelsea@helptank.nz
Website helptank.nz

LawFuel Lawyer of the Year Shortall’s Growing Programme of Social Good

LawFuel’s Lawyer of the Year, Stacey Shortall, continues to make waves with her “Homework Help Club” which is gathering a head of steam, embraced by Minter Ellison and others, including Auckland mayoral candidate and MP Phil Goff.

Stuff.co.nz ran a piece on the lawyers who are helping students at Wesley Primary School, where lawyers and others go each Wednesday following Ms Shortall’s lead in Wellington, where her endeavour is making a difference for dozens of school children otherwise missing on the ability to benefit from the mentoring and assistance of the lawyers.

Continue reading “LawFuel Lawyer of the Year Shortall’s Growing Programme of Social Good”

Auckland lawyers appeal pupils’ homework

Litigation, affidavits and depositions are not what you would typically find in the classroom.

But that hasn’t stopped clued-up lawyers trading the courtroom for some impromptu lessons in maths, science or English.

And the pupils of Wesley Primary School are soaking up this new wealth of knowledge.

Every Wednesday staff from law firm MinterEllisonRuddWatts head along to the school to share their expertise in the Homework Help Club.

Partner Stacey Shortall began the project in Wellington to connect staff with the community; it’s ongoing success has since seen it expand.

Construction and property lawyer Janine Stewart has taken up the baton for Auckland.

Continue reading “Auckland lawyers appeal pupils’ homework”

Blake Leader Award 2016: Stacey Shortall

Photo of Stacey Shortall
Blake Leader Stacey Shortall

Blake Leader Stacey Shortall is an outstanding lawyer. But it’s what she does to help and motivate others that makes her a remarkable leader. Respected globally in the legal community with more than 20 years of experience to her name, Stacey has a deep commitment to improving the lives of others, as a passionate advocate for the wellbeing of women and children, particularly in the prevention of violence. Continue reading “Blake Leader Award 2016: Stacey Shortall”

Mother in law Stacey Shortall changes the world, one young life at a time

Stacey Shortall with pupil Beaumia Lemisio
Stacey Shortall with pupil Beaumia Lemisio at Homework Help Club

You could have heard a pin drop as top legal eagle Stacey Shortall asked a room full of people: “Who did you help today?”

The silence was audible.

Shortall was standing behind the podium accepting the community and not-for-profit category of the Women of Influence award in 2015.

“I was not expecting to win and had no speech prepared so I asked the audience what I ask my children every night at the dinner table: ‘Who did you help today’?” I didn’t say it to make an impact. It was just a simple question,” she says.

“I think it’s a good question because anyone can answer that, your circumstances are irrelevant. I think if we had four and a half million of us every day in New Zealand answering that question positively then we could create a bit of movement.” Continue reading “Mother in law Stacey Shortall changes the world, one young life at a time”

Impacting lives of inmates

“We have been having been presenting awards to volunteers since the last three years and this time we received a lot of nominations.

“But the decision was unanimous for both Mary Ann France who has been organising and running the quilting rehabilitative programme at the prison for many years, as well as Stacey Shortall, a lawyer with Minter Ellison Rudd Watts, who runs the Mother’s Project at the prison, helping the women prisoners improve contact and relationships with their children.” Continue reading “Impacting lives of inmates”

New Zealand Education Gazette: Making human connections

New Zealand Education Gazette coverFor the past two years, staff from a Wellington law firm have joined Porirua students after school as part of the Homework Help project. Education Gazette finds out how it began and what it means to the participants.

A project that brings together primary students from decile one schools with corporate lawyers began with a casual request.

The Homework Help Club started with Holy Family School in Cannons Creek, Porirua, and a group of lawyers from Wellington firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.

Lawyer Stacey Shortall developed the initiative as a way to forge meaningful connections between staff at the firm and children at the school. Continue reading “New Zealand Education Gazette: Making human connections”