Kathy Speirs has been a Rocketspark Design Partner since 2018. Although, she wouldn’t call herself a designer.
Kathy joined as a partner because she was building so many websites for community groups that she needed access to the programmes our partners who design professionally have.
She has now developed four websites for not-for-profit organisations in her small village, Kuaotunu, a community she’s only been part of for six years.
“Not only do I do the design, to the best of my non-designer ability, but I also write 99 percent of the content. For three of these organisations I am also the Treasurer or the Secretary or both.”
Kathy maintains and updates all of these websites on an ongoing basis and all of her time is provided on a volunteer basis.
When Kathy first moved to Kuaotunu, said she was tapped on the shoulder to join the local hall committee for Kuaotunu Hall, which became the first of the four not-for-profits she’s helped.
“I’d never been on a committee before and I thought, ‘how hard can it be?’ and signed up. Of course they gave me a big box of papers and I thought they needed a bit of organisation.”
Kathy said they had a professionally made website, but the backend was so tricky to use that no one could update it. She decided to look around and eventually came across Rocketspark.
“As soon as I started with Rocketspark I thought, ‘this is the way to go’ and off I went. So, I’ve built their website and I am also the booking officer, coordinating all the booking requests, which now flow in as a result of our beautiful Rocketspark website. We have wedding bookings up until 2023, some from Norway and London, because the website is there and working,” she said.
After she joined the hall committee, Kathy was invited to take on the role of Treasurer at the Kuaotunu Residents & Ratepayer Association (KRRA) four years ago, at which time they had no website or email address.
“They wanted to increase membership numbers, they had about 60, but had no idea how. I set up their email address, created a Rocketspark website and started a Mailchimp newsletter.”
Four years later the website has morphed into a 20+ page community website and the association now has 210 members.
“That’s not bad for a population of 400-500 people, approx. a third of whom are absentee Ratepayers. And locals frequently comment how much they appreciate feeling involved and informed,” she said.
Rings Beach Wetland Group are another community group Kathy is treasurer for and has built a website for.
When Kathy moved to Kuaotunu she said she found the community very welcoming and full of people doing amazing amounts of volunteer work, especially in the conservation space.
“So we joined in, starting out with maintaining a trap line for the Rings Beach Wetland Group, from where I was shoulder tapped to contribute my business and administration skills, and that led to the websites for the other groups,” she said.
And the last one is the Kuaotunu Bird Rescue Trust.
“There’s a lady in our community who has been rescuing birds for the last 20 or 30 years and she wanted a website so I did that for her. She supplied most of the content, and I massaged it into the right places.”
Kathy, believe it or not, is retired and she does all of this work in her own time.
“It irritates me to see things not being done well and to me it seems so simple. For some reason lots of people seem to think creating websites is a horrible task, whereas for me it’s fun.”
Kathy said to rest assured that she doesn’t constantly take on new work, her and her husband go on motorcycle adventures together and she also loves to spend time in her garden.