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Volunteers the Heart of St John

Volunteers the Heart of St John - National Volunteer Week 17-23 June
MEDIA STATEMENT: 18 June 2018

Volunteers bring a unique perspective, humility and contribution to the communities they serve, and there is no stronger representation of that generous spirit than within St John’s variety of Community and Operational Volunteers.

Over 9,200 St John volunteers contribute more than two million hours to New Zealand communities, and CEO Peter Bradley says those volunteers are the beating heart of the organisation.

“Sometimes simply saying thank you can make the biggest difference, and while we will be sharing our gratitude in a variety of ways throughout New Zealand this week, I ask New Zealanders to join with me in expressing their own appreciation to these special people,” Mr Bradley says.

St John Director of Community Health Services, Sarah Manley, says that St John volunteers are helping to build resilient communities and enabling New Zealander’s to lead healthy, independent lives.

“Our Caring Caller programme has over 860 volunteers regularly connecting with over 1,250 clients who range in age and ethnicity offering friendship, connection and support.

“Our 600 Health Shuttle volunteers have helped thousands of Kiwis get to over 74,000 health appointments, facilitating an important connection to primary health, which helps to prevent hospital admissions down the road.

“We have 800 Friends of the Emergency Department (FEDs) who provide community care and friendship in hospitals, while our motivated team of Archivist volunteers help keep us in touch with our rich history, and our SPCA Outreach Therapy Pets coordinators… well they get to spend hours with adorable animals who provide pleasure and comfort to others!

“Volunteers also keep our opportunity shop doors open, run local Area Committees, and coordinate New Zealand’s largest youth programme to over 6,300 future leaders.

“To each and every one of them, we look forward to celebrating with you and thanking you throughout National Volunteer Week,” Ms Manley says.

St John Director of Clinical Operations Norma Lane says the frontline is incredibly lucky to have such hardworking volunteers providing professional medical care to the community, along with friendship, loyalty and care to their work and colleagues.

“We’ve currently got over 3,500 clinical volunteers in a range of roles across the emergency ambulance service. All of them contribute a huge amount to our organisation and many even do full 12 hour shifts every week.

“Volunteers are out there every day, saving lives, enabling New Zealanders to live independently and ultimately making New Zealand society the kind of place that we all love being a part of. I cannot thank them enough,” Ms Lane says.

St John will be spending National Volunteer Week recognising our extraordinary volunteers and we encourage all New Zealanders who interact with or know a volunteer to join with us in saying thank you.

Anyone interested in finding out more volunteering with St John can visit https://join.stjohn.org.nz/home
--ENDS--

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