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Charitable person of the year announced

Charitable person of the year announced

Telecom is pleased to announce that Berill Michelsen of Nga Wahine Tamariki Punanga O Whakatu - Nelson Women's and Children's Refuge Services, has been named the inaugural Telecom Community Connection Charitable Person of the Year.

A member of the Women's Refuge since the late 1970s, Berill impressed the judges with her longstanding dedication to the cause, her passion for the rights of women and children, and her willingness to take on tasks - from management roles to handling midnight crisis calls.

Berill was nominated for the award by the Nelson Refuge and chosen from amongst a group of outstanding finalists from organisations like St John, IHC and the Red Cross.

Telecom Board member Patsy Reddy said the judging process must have been both hard and humbling as the nominated individuals consistently deliver amazing work for the not-for-profit sector.

"Berill perfectly encapsulated what it is we were looking for - a person who willingly goes above and beyond to help others on a daily basis, without reward or recognition", said Ms Reddy

Telecom was inspired to find the most charitable person after working closely with a number of New Zealand's largest charities through its Community Connection programme. This programme provides more than 1,000 charities with $5 million in support each year.

"We are consistently amazed by the selfless and often voluntary work that goes on behind the doors of New Zealand's largest charities and felt it was time to reward those individuals who connect communities and families with help and support", said Ms Reddy.

Berill will be presented her title by the Hon Ruth Dyson, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector and Ms Reddy at Parliament on 17 March 2008.

"Berill is someone whose work has changed the lives of many New Zealanders in need and who deserves to be recognised and rewarded. I am very pleased to be able to present her with this award to mark her amazing commitment to Women's Refuge," said Ms Dyson.

The inaugural Telecom Community Connection Charitable Person of the Year was judged by Dr Paul Reynolds, CEO Telecom New Zealand Ltd, David Craig, Telecom GM Consumer Marketing and Brenda Ratcliff, Director for the Community and Voluntary Sector.


ENDS

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