Volunteering BoP General Manager moves on after nearly five years

photograph of a man standing in front of a white picket fence

Volunteering BoP has accepted the resignation of its General Manager, Theo Ursum, who has taken a development role with Civil Defence, which also utilises volunteers extensively.

The Chair Alan Withy says, “The board is very sad to see Theo go, but releases him with gratitude after nearly five years of loyal service. During this period, he has strategically grown the organisation and leaves it in a robust state to meet the challenges of the future. Our loss is a Civil Defence gain”.

A history of volunteering

Theo moved to Tauranga in 2011 to assume the role of Operations Manager at YMCA Tauranga. Prior to that, he was ‘Out of School Care’ and Recreation Manager with YMCA Hawkes Bay. He sat on the Volunteering Hawkes Bay board, helping to develop the organisation’s administrative systems while contributing to the business and strategic plans.

Theo, a Dutch native, moved to New Zealand with his wife Iris in 2009. Currently, he is enjoying living on a lifestyle block just out of Tauranga. “Many hours go into the garden”, Theo says. “We are turning a stretch of grass into a nice garden with fruit trees, a veggie garden and of course a lot of flowers and native plants.”

About leaving the job behind Theo said, “It still feels strange that I won’t be working here in a couple of weeks as there is still some unfinished business. I hope that the new manager will be able to continue the progressive work of the centre.”

Innovation and professionalism

During Theo’s tenure, the centre developed from referral services to a full ‘service volunteer centre’. New innovative services to support nonprofit organisations in the Bay were introduced to improve the quality and professionalism in the voluntary sector. “While there have been many highlights in my four years in the role, I am proud to be contracted as volunteer coordinator for a local trust.

Our centre is the first Volunteer Centre in New Zealand to be contracted to coordinate another organisation’s volunteer engagement. It shows that the centre has become a knowledge base for anything to do with volunteering – from volunteer recruitment to a full volunteer management service”, said Theo.

“I still will be in touch with Volunteering BoP, as I will be continuing to work with volunteers, so there will be opportunities to collaborate more together. I’m looking forward to taking Civil Defence volunteer engagement to the next level, but I hope that we never find out, because that means that disaster has struck!”