Wellington Scoop

Take 10 seeking more volunteers for weekends in CBD

courtenay place take ten
Take 10 on a typical Saturday night.

Wellington.Scoop report by Nichola Scarlett
If you are ever in need of a late-night safe zone, water, phone charging or a chat when you’re out on a Friday or Saturday night in Wellington, Take 10 has it all.

Take 10 offers medical help, refuge, and advice from their trained team leaders and volunteers, all run out of a caravan next to the pizza shop on the corner of Courtenay Place and Taranaki Street.

Since founder Clint Schoultz began handing out water and help five years ago, it’s grown from a one-man band to an organisation with 35 volunteers and up to 5000 people passing by each night, under the umbrella of his charity group, the Vulnerable Support Trust.

Schoultz said his fuel to push for a space like Take 10 was hearing a story about a young girl being sexually assaulted. Now, he says, the need is higher, with a rise in sexual assaults and tension around the post-Covid.

“There is an underlining tension since Covid. We want to keep it positive. It’s about being there for people if they run into trouble.”

Take 10 has now been running for eight months in the current spot. It has support from the Wellington City Council and the Police.

The most important thing for Take 10 is connection with others, said Schoultz, as well as having a positive influence on the drinking culture.

Volunteers and leaders could have a huge impact on the people they talk to, whether it’s obvious or not. The volunteers believe in the organisation. They give up their Fridays and Saturdays to volunteer and are always passionate about the work that Take 10 does.

The team leaders provide in-depth training for all volunteers including sexual abuse training, a first aid course and conflict resolution training.

Michael Locklit, a student paramedic, does the odd Friday or Saturday night at Take 10, He found out about it through a night out.

“Take 10 is a positive space that takes initiative and holds no authority, power or influence, it is a collaborative thing you can point to within the city,” he said.

A lot of people have had experience being in vulnerable positions and Take 10 is a positive way to be a part the community. “If handing out glasses of water helps one person, it’s worth it.”

Volunteer Eden Gabriel moved to New Zealand from Israel and said she has seen nothing like it in her country. “I really like talking to people and having short or long conversations. Whatever it is, it’s so rewarding.”

Vulnerable Support Trust community coordinator Leigh Keown said that people now trusted the brand.

“It’s all about trust and creating a safe environment for people. We have been to the Universities around Wellington, to the halls of residences and we have created a community,” she said.

One thing both Schoultz and Keown reiterated was the hard work that their volunteers put in.

“We have 35 amazing volunteers and we wouldn’t be anywhere without them.”

Take 10 need more volunteers. Those interested are able to apply online through their website.

Nichola Scarlett is a post-graduate journalism student at Massey University in Wellington.