The Evetts

When it was announced that New Zealand was going into Lockdown and people were busy preparing for an uncertain time, Sue and Steve Evett headed straight for the Gisborne Volunteer Centre. They were concerned about how the pandemic might affect the aged, disabled and vulnerable within the Tairãwhiti community and their first thought was— how can we help?

At the time organisations were busy trying to interpret the restrictions at each level and whether volunteers could volunteer safely. For a period of time, possibly for the first time since they arrived in New Zealand from the United Kingdom, Sue and Steve found themselves ‘on leave’ from their normal routine of working as self-confessed professional volunteers.

Almost as soon as they arrived in New Zealand, a place they both refer to as paradise, they quickly became involved in a number of community groups as well as making themselves available for community events. This often meant that one or both of them were contributing in some way, every day of the week.

They found that Lockdown was an unusual but lovely little break, shadowed only by their concern for family back in the UK and the situation unfolding there. Both Sue and Steve are incredibly grateful for the political leadership and management of the pandemic they experienced here in New Zealand, within the community that they both love and contribute to every day.