The Edgecumbe Volunteer Fire Brigade, representing Whakatane District, has been named Supreme Winner at the prestigious Trustpower National Community Awards.
The awards were announced on Saturday night at the 2017 Trustpower National Community Awards Dinner, held at the Kawarau Bungy Centre, Queenstown.
The announcement comes after a full day for the 25 teams participating in the Trustpower National Community Awards. On Saturday, each regional team gave an eight minute presentation on their activities or project in a judging session held at the Queenstown Memorial Centre. The teams were judged on that presentation and on a 1000 word summary about each group provided prior to the event.
The Edgecumbe Volunteer Fire Brigade was represented at the Trustpower National Community Awards by Bruce Knight and Tracey Lloyd along with Mayor Tony Bonne.
This group of highly trained volunteers pledge round the clock support to their community in times of need. In the days and weeks following flooding last year, members logged thousands of hours getting their community back on its feet.
The 2017 Trustpower National Community Award Supreme Winner, the Edgecumbe Volunteer Fire Brigade, receives a custom-made trophy, $4000 in prize money, a $1000 Exult voucher and a framed certificate. Runner Up, went to South Invercargill Urban Rejuvenation Charitable Trust (South Alive) and they received $2500 prize money, and a framed certificate. The Whetū Mātaiata Award winner, Kura Precious Ones Special Needs Support Group receives an Exult consultancy service package to the value of $3250.
Trustpower community and communications manager Emily Beaton says the Edgecumbe Volunteer Fire Brigade had a heart-felt presentation about their resilient community and the hard work of its volunteers.
“These every day heroes show commitment, comradery and support, which are the key ingredients for a strong community.”
“Trustpower is proud to lead the way in recognising, rewarding and celebrating the incredible contribution volunteers make to New Zealand communities.
“All 25 groups participating in the Trustpower National Community Awards are shining examples of the amazing work volunteers undertake every day in cities and districts all around New Zealand. These groups have already won recognition in their regions and we are delighted to be able to showcase their efforts nationally at this weekend’s event.”
South Invercargill Urban Rejuvenation Charitable Trust (South Alive) told their story about their volunteer led urban rejuvenation and community development organisation that is breathing new life into arts, housing and events in a community left hurting by school closures and redundancies.
The Whetū Mātaiata Award, which was set up in partnership with Exult, a company that helps non-profits grow and is awarded to recognise a rising star. The Whetū Mātaiata Award winner stood out for their moving story about a mother struggling first hand as a result of limited resources of understanding for children with special needs. Kura Precious Ones Special Needs Support Group brings together families facing similar challenges to support each other.
The Awards were judged by a panel of independent judges, including Hadyn Jones from TVNZ Good Sorts and Fair Go, Scott Miller, Chief Executive of Volunteering NZ, Henare O’Keefe, previous Kiwibank Hero of the Year, Janice Lee from Koha Kai, ‘Ferg’ a local Queenstown radio DJ from ‘The Hits’, Rosie Julou General Manager of Exult, Vince Hawksworth Trustpower Chief Executive and Jess Cartwright reporter for TVNZ based in Central Otago.
Also involved in the judging process were each of the 25 voluntary groups at the Awards, with the peer voting making up 50 per cent of the final judging score and the independent judging panel’s votes making up the other 50 per cent. The groups were judged on five criteria: volunteer input; use of resources; initiative and creativity; effectiveness of activities; and impact on targeted audience and/or community.
Judges’ Comments on the Edgecumbe Volunteer Fire Brigade:
“You clearly have a family of volunteers who do an incredible job.”
“What a massive contribution your team is making to your community, sometimes at a personal cost to you. Thank you.”
“You guys did an awesome job in Edgecumbe. You are inspiring.”
“So valued every day and all through the night.”
“Heroes in every sense of the word.”