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Longest-serving .. Volunteer Julie Tattershaw receives a bottle of wine signed by Sir William English from Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker at a morning tea for volunteers on Monday. Mrs Tattershaw was the longest-serving volunteer at the celebration.

A long-serving Gore Volunteer has been awarded a bottle of wine signed by former prime minister Sir William English.

Julie Tattershaw was presented with the bottle by Clutha-Southland MP Hamish Walker at a morning tea celebration for volunteers at the Gore RSA on Monday.

She had volunteered at Parata rest-home complex since 1971, Mrs Tattershaw said.

Mr Walker hosted the event as part of National Volunteer Week.

More than 100 organisations were invited to send representatives and there was a full house.

This year’s theme for the week is Volunteers – Heart of our Community, which captures the essence of what volunteering is about: how volunteers’ efforts, compassion and time provide a significant contribution to their communities.

Mr Walker said volunteers were the glue that kept the community together.

“The point of this is to say thank you to you,” Mr Walker said.

Mr Walker said he was surprised by the number of people who took the time to attend the celebration.

“If I’m honest, I thought I might get five or 10 people if I’m lucky.”

Mr Walker said that he started volunteering when he was at secondary school as a community patrol member.

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks paid tribute to the volunteers.

“Gore simply couldn’t function without volunteers,” he said.

Mr Hicks urged volunteers to encourage young people to become involved so there was a succession plan in place.