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St John Volunteers Awarded

St John is proud to announce the amazing volunteers who won awards at this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, held at Parliament’s Grand Hall last week.

The Minister of Health, Hon Andrew Little presented the awards during a ceremony on Monday (20 August), to acknowledge and thank the incredible mahi of the volunteers who support Aotearoa’s health and disability services.

Sarah Manley, St John Deputy Chief Executive of Community Health Services, says among the recipients this year are Lee Maihi, Betty Wihongi and Colin Patterson of the St John Kaikohe Health Shuttle Team, who won the ‘Overall Health Volunteer of the Year’, as well as an ‘Outstanding Achievement’ in the ‘COVID Health Volunteer Team Category’.

“With only two volunteer drivers, the team has gone above and beyond to help Kaikohe and Northland’s more remote communities, ensuring residents can get to their medical appointments and vaccinations,” Ms Manley says.

A group of St John Taupō community volunteers, which includes the Taupō Friends of the Emergency Department, Taupo Hospital Friends and Health Shuttle Volunteers also received an acknowledgement from Minister Little, winning runner-up in the ‘Health Care Provider Service Team Category’.

“When the Taupō volunteers were unable to carry out duties because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that didn’t stop them from wanting to help, so they connected with a local church group to support people in isolation. Together they helped provide food packages to people in need.”

In the Health Care Provider Service Individual category, Emergency Medical Technician Darren Joyce and Hamilton Major Incident Support Team Volunteer Manager David Jones jointly won ‘Outstanding Achievement’.

James Stewart, St John National Operations Manager Volunteering, says Darren has been with St John for four and a half years and has spent more than half that time committed to building resilience within the group to support volunteers in the Manawatu-Horowhenua district.

“Darren is actively involved in training, mentoring, organising meetings, and helping volunteers any way he can. He’s helped maintain the welfare and mental health of the volunteers in his care, alongside a full-time job and young family," Mr Stewart says.

“Natural leader Dave is responsible for training, support and aroha of our Major Incident Support Team (MIST) – and always goes the extra mile for them, including providing support, comprehensive training and encouraging the team to lead themselves when needed."

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