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Palmerston North Street Van Wins Community Award

Media Release, 29 March 2008

Palmerston North Street Van Wins Trustpower National Community Awards

Palmerston North Street Van, representing Palmerston North City, has been named Supreme Winner at the prestigious TrustPower National Community Awards.

The Awards were announced tonight (Saturday 29 March) at the 2007 TrustPower National Community Awards Dinner, held at the New Zealand Fighter Pilots Museum, Wanaka.

The Runner-Up was the Bike Taupo, representing the Taupo district.

The announcement comes after a full day for the 23 teams participating in the TrustPower National Community Awards. Today, they each gave a ten minute presentation on their activities or project in a judging session held at Mount Aspiring College.

Palmerston North Street Van was represented at the TrustPower National Community Awards by Lew Findlay and Neil Costigan, along with Palmerston North City Councillor Vaughan Dennison and his wife Raphaella.

Palmerston North Street Van gave a moving presentation, outlining the ways their up to 500 volunteers help people, whatever the need, wherever possible.

The Street Van runs a large variety of programmes, including the “Street Van” which is out on the streets of Palmerston North every Friday and Saturday nights, providing food, hot drinks and a listening ear to hundreds of people. The Street Van organisation runs Shepherds Rest, which provides beds to homeless and mentally ill people, and Ferguson House, which assists people to change their lives of addiction.

Among its other services are parent support groups, the delivery of food parcels to those in need and assistance with drug and alcohol programmes in schools.

As TrustPower National Community Award Supreme Winner, the Palmerston North Street Van takes home a trophy, $2,500 prize money and a framed certificate. The Supreme Winner also takes home a prize package from Foresee Communications, specialists in sponsorship and fundraising resources, training and advice. The prize package includes a $1,000 workshop or conference credit, resources for the winning group’s library and a free telephone consultation with Foresee’s Director Heather Newell.

TrustPower Community Relations Manager Graeme Purches says the Palmerston North Street Van helps those who are in desperate need, without judgement, resulting in generational changes within families.

During his presentation at the Nationals, Lew Findlay talked of past addicts who are now proud to watch their children graduate from University, and who put that success down to the Street Van’s support.

“TrustPower is proud to lead the way in recognising, rewarding and celebrating the incredible contribution volunteers make to New Zealand communities,” says Graeme Purches.

“All 23 groups participating in the TrustPower National Community Awards are shining examples of the amazing work volunteers undertake every day in cities and districts all around New Zealand. These groups have already won recognition in their regions and we are delighted to be able to showcase their efforts nationally at this weekend’s event,” says Mr Purches.

The Awards were judged by a panel of independent judges, including North & South Editor Virginia Larson, Otago MP Jacqui Dean and Russell Ness from Volunteering New Zealand, along with the 23 voluntary groups at the Awards. Each of the groups had one vote, with the peer voting making up 50% of the final judging score and the independent judging panel’s votes making up the other 50%.

The judges’ comments about the Palmerston North Street Van include:

• “No words can describe your achievement. Just keep on keeping on”

• “Thank you for your care and courage”

• “What a great project”

• “Awesome outcomes”

• “What a stunning story”

• “A long term commitment to working with those no one else wants to – well done”

Please find below background information about the TrustPower Community Awards and TrustPower National Community Awards.

TrustPower National Community Awards - Background

Over the last thirteen years the TrustPower Community Awards have grown into one of the country’s largest volunteer-based Awards programmes.

Thanks to the TrustPower Community Awards, thousands of volunteers have been recognised and more than quarter of a million dollars has been injected into community groups up and down the country.

The TrustPower Community Awards were initially set up with the Western Bay of Plenty District Council thirteen years ago, when TrustPower became a listed company.

Since then, TrustPower has established Community Awards in cities and districts right around the country, as a way of giving something back to its customers and their community.

Today, the TrustPower Community Awards are run in 23 districts around the country, in conjunction with local district or city Councils. Any voluntary group or volunteer-based not-for-profit organisation is eligible for the Awards, which recognise past achievements or work undertaken by volunteers over the previous 12 months.

In 2000, TrustPower initiated the National Community Awards, where the Supreme Winners from the regional Awards share ideas and experiences and compete for the title of TrustPower National Community Award Supreme Winner.

National Awards

The TrustPower National Community Awards are attended by representatives from each of the organisations judged Supreme Winner at their regional Awards, along with their region’s Mayor and his or her partner.

Each regional team compiles a 10 minute presentation on their group or organisation and its achievements. The teams themselves then vote for the group they think deserves the title of TrustPower National Community Award Supreme Winner, along with a panel of independent judges.

The TrustPower National Community Award Supreme Winner receives $2,500, a framed certificate and a trophy, with the Runner-Up receiving $1,500 and a framed certificate. The Supreme Winner also receives a prize package from Foresee Communications, specialists in sponsorship and fundraising resources, training and advice.

Although all organisations participating in the National Awards would love to take home the big prize, the Awards are about more than money and titles. They are about giving organisations time out, the opportunity to socialise and network with other similar groups and the chance to share ideas and experiences in a relaxed environment.

There have been many examples of this networking resulting in ideas from one end of the country being established as successful projects in another region!

Past National Award Winners

2000: CACTUS (Combined Adolescent Challenge Training Unit & Support)

Westland District

2001: The Otangarei Youth Sports & Recreation Trust


2002: Te Puna Quarry Park Society Inc.

Tauranga/Western Bay of Plenty District

2003: Palmerston Gateway to Gold Charitable Trust

Waihemo District

2004: Friends of Dunstan Hospital

Central Otago District

2005: Kihikihi Waikato Eventing

Waipa District

2006: Special Rigs for Special Kids

Dunedin City


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