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Friends Of Dunstan Hospital Win Trustpower Award

Friends Of Dunstan Hospital Win Trustpower National Community Award

Central Otago’s The Friends of Dunstan Hospital has taken out the top prize at the prestigious TrustPower National Community Awards.

The Awards were announced tonight (Saturday 5 March) at the 2004 TrustPower National Community Awards Dinner, held at Sarnia Park Function Centre in Cambridge. The announcement of The Friends of Dunstan Hospital’s win was met with a standing ovation from the 100-strong audience.

The Runner-Up was the Merivale Community Centre, representing the Western Bay of Plenty District and Tauranga City. For the first time in the Awards’ five year history, the judges also awarded a Special Award to the Otipua Wetland Charitable Trust from the Timaru District, which came a very close third.

This is the second year in a row the top prize has gone to an Otago community organisation. The Waitaki – Waihemo District’s Palmerston Gateway to Gold won the Supreme Award at last year’s TrustPower National Community Awards.

The announcement comes after a full day for the 20 teams participating in the TrustPower National Community Awards. Today, they each had to give a ten minute presentation on their activities or project in a presentation and judging session held at the Cambridge Town Hall.

The Friends of Dunstan Hospital’s presentation included video clips from doctors at the hospital, talking about how the community has benefited from the Friends’ hard work and fundraising. It also showed a picture of Friends Chairperson Shirley Alabaster standing outside the new Dunstan Hospital, which is currently under construction. This new facility has only been made possible through the efforts of The Friends of Dunstan Hospital.

As TrustPower National Community Award Supreme Winner, The Friends of Dunstan Hospital takes home a trophy, a framed certificate and $2,500. The Runner-Up receives a framed certificate and $1,000, and the Otipua Wetland Charitable Trust receives $500 and a certificate.

TrustPower Community Relations Manager Graeme Purches says this year’s results were particularly close, with three groups all within two percent of each other.

“TrustPower is delighted to once again play a key role in recognising the contribution made by volunteers to New Zealand communities. All 20 groups participating in the Awards had already won recognition in their regions and we are delighted to have been 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 Deputy Editor Jenny Chamberlain, along with the 20 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 Friends of Dunstan Hospital included:

“Effective, necessary “can do” response to a community challenge – an inspiration for New Zealanders – don’t complain, do something.”

“A major project with lots of community involvement.”

“Incredible determination and effort.”

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

TrustPower National Community Awards - Background

Over the last ten 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 District Council ten 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 19 districts around the country, in conjunction with local district or city Councils, recognising and rewarding volunteers for the valuable contribution they make to their community.

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 Supreme National Community Award 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 Supreme National Community Award 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 $1,000 and a framed certificate.

Although all organisations at 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

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