This year’s winners of the 2018 New Zealand King Salmon Community Impact Awards were thrilled with the acknowledgement of their contributions to the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough communities.

Volunteer Nelson received the award at the Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Awards on 2 November, and the Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough received theirs at the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards on 16 November.

This award recognised a programme, project, campaign or an overall business that has had, or continues to have, a positive impact on the Nelson Tasman and Marlborough community in a way that inspires others and makes a difference.

Volunteer Nelson manager Gordon Oldfield says the awards night “will be part of Volunteer Nelson’s history”.

Volunteer Nelson staff with their Impact Award Nelson trophy

Volunteer Nelson are stoked with their win

“It is difficult to describe the collective moment of joy when we were announced as the winner. I felt such pride as I walked with my guide dog, Ernie, towards the stage. Several guests from our table were overcome with emotion,” says Gordon.

“As an organisation we are working hard in the background, not only in helping not-for-profits to find volunteers, but also to strengthen the community sector through low or no cost training and organising forums in which busy people can get out of silos and network with others.”

Gordon says Volunteer Nelson is well-known in the community sector, but less so in other sectors, and willing the award has helped “tremendously to lift our profile”.

“It is our hope that it will be the start of business and community partnerships.”

“Now that the excitement of the award night is a happy memory, the strongest thing that I take away is knowing that our contribution to the community sector is recognised and valued by the business world as well.”

Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough regional manager Kelvin Watts says the foundation, which is 99% funded by the Marlborough community through business partnerships and fundraising events, was “honoured” to receive the Community Impact award.

Graeme Dingle staff with Impact Award trophy

Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough staff, winners of the Impact Award Marlborough

“This year over 2,200 young people across Marlborough are directly impacted by our programmes every week.”

“The impact our programmes are having on local communities is really a reflection of the tremendous support from local people and local businesses who truly value what we do.”

These awards form a part of New Zealand King Salmon’s active and focused programme of community support in Marlborough and across the top of the South.

“We are proud of the role we play in both the regional economy of Marlborough and Top of the South, and in New Zealand’s national development,“ says Lauren Sheridan, NZKS Brand Manager – Corporate.

She says salmon farming has an “economic multiplier” effect, meaning it creates work and income for employees, as well as a raft of local suppliers; including engineering firms, scientists, and water taxis for example, while also benefiting the community through grants and sponsorship.