Volunteers from all over the country are being recognised in this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, just announced at an event in Parliament’s Grand Hall.
“These awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health and disability sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders, going above-and-beyond for people in their communities,” Health Minister Andrew Little said in presenting the awards this afternoon.
“This year we’re recognising 15 teams and 16 individuals who are outstanding achievers across seven categories – healthcare service provider, community and non-governmental organisations, Māori health, Pacific health, youth volunteer, long service and, for the first time – COVID health volunteers.
“Whether it’s providing practical support and friendship or sharing life skills and experience, health volunteers make life better for New Zealanders in many ways.”
The Kaikohe Health Shuttle service was awarded overall Health Volunteer of the Year. The service makes sure people in the community can get to medical appointments and vaccinations.
“The team has just two drivers, but has been able to provide the service five days a week, and is on call the other days, even during lockdowns,” Andrew Little said.
“That’s real dedication to the community.”
It is particularly encouraging to see so many young people volunteering, Andrew Little said.
“As well as helping people in our health system and in our communities, volunteering is good experience for those that offer their time. It’s a chance to give back, build relationships, learn new skills and discover opportunities to pursue a career in health. Congratulations to all recipients of these awards, and thank you to everyone in the health service volunteer network,” Andrew Little said.
More information about the awards, including a full list of recipients and categories can be found on the Ministry of Health website.
The full list of award recipients is:
Health Volunteer of the Year
Winner: Kaikohe Health Shuttle, nominated by St John New Zealand.
Health Care Provider Service – Team
Winner: Breastfeeding Works! Breastfeeding Peer Supporters (Timaru), nominated by Plunket Whānau Āwhina, Timaru.
Runner-up: Taupō St John Community Volunteers (Taupō), nominated by St John New Zealand.
Health Care Provider Service – Individual
Joint winners: Darren Joyce (Palmerston North), nominated by St John New Zealand, and David Jones (Te Awamutu), nominated by St John New Zealand.
Runners up: Paul Fox Rogers (Auckland), nominated by Waitematā DHB, and Brenda Fernee (New Plymouth), nominated by Summerset Mountain View.
Community or NGO – Team
Winner: One Mother to Another (Christchurch), nominated by One Mother to Another.
Runners up: MASH Friendship Trust Friendship Service Volunteer Buddies (Palmerston North), nominated by MASH Trust, and 0800 Anxiety Helpline Team, nominated by Anxiety New Zealand Trust.
Community/NGO – Individual
Winner: Alister Robinson (Napier), nominated by Alzheimers NZ.
Runner-up: Nigel Winter (Invercargill), nominated by Central Otago Living Options.
Winner: Tai Tokerau Border Control (Kaitaia), nominated by The Entrust Foundation.
Winner: Iosefo Fa’afiu (Auckland), nominated by HopeWalk & Link4Life.
Youth Health – Team
Winner: Peer Tree peer support group (Wellington), nominated by Kites Trust.
Runners-up: Cashmere High Years 12 and 13 (Christchurch), nominated by Hōhepa, Canterbury, and Youth Advisory Council (Christchurch), nominated by Canterbury DHB
Youth Health – Individual
Winner: Ethan Tauevihi-Kahika (Auckland), nominated by Youthline Auckland.
Runner-up: Ali Haidari (Wellington), nominated by Refugees as Survivors.
Long Service – Team
Winner: Telephone Helpline Volunteers (Wellington), nominated by Samaritans.
Runner-up: Waitematā DHB Hospital Auxiliary (Auckland), nominated by Waitematā DHB.
Long Service – Individual
Winner: Anne Sinclair (Auckland), nominated by Cancer Society, Auckland.
Runners up: Jim Blood (Whangārei), nominated by Whangārei Riding for the Disabled; Isla Ryan (Balclutha), nominated by Presbyterian Support Otago; and Francie Basher (Tauranga), nominated by Alzheimers Society, Tauranga.
COVID Health Volunteer – Team
Winner: Kaikohe Health Shuttle (Kaikohe), nominated by St John New Zealand.
Runners up: Team Muskaan, Community Vaccination Champions (Auckland), nominated by Muskaan Care Trust; Asian Healthline Support Volunteers (Auckland), nominated by Waitematā DHB; Companion Caller Team (Auckland), nominated by Auckland DHB; and Client Drivers (Palmerston North), nominated by Cancer Society Central Districts.
COVID Health Volunteer – Individual
Winner: Louisa Cheung (Auckland), nominated by Unichem Pakuranga Pharmacy.
Runners up: Chao Yu (Auckland), nominated by Counties Manukau Health and Rodney Whitmore (Auckland), nominated by Starship Auckland.