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‘Volunteers are the life blood of St John’

After being a volunteer for 62 years, Alan Pine is still at it as a Health Shuttle Driver for St John. Image: Daniel Hines.

St John is sending praise to their 8,000 volunteers during National Volunteer Week.

A statement issued by St John says this week provides the perfect opportunity to honour the volunteers who “generously give their time” to support the vital work of the emergency service.

“With 40 per cent of St John paid staff also volunteering in other roles during their valuable spare time, volunteering certainly runs through the heart of St John.”

This year’s theme is Te Hua o te Mahi Tahi, the benefit of working together, and St John CEO Peter Bradley says that shone through as New Zealanders supported each other through COVID-19.

"Our volunteers have shown their resilience and commitment to helping their communities through the challenges of lockdown and continue to do that as we restart our programmes to improve the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders."

"We thank each and every volunteer for the support they give to their communities and assure them the work they do makes a real difference to people’s lives and allows us to work to address the health inequities in New Zealand."

St John Ambulance director of operations Dan Ohs says volunteers are vital in responding to medical emergencies in rural and remote areas.

"Our frontline volunteers make it possible to get help quickly to those who need it most, supporting the emergency ambulance service in its lifesaving work, while our event volunteers look after events of all sizes, keeping everyone safe."

St John volunteers also work to support the wellbeing of New Zealanders by providing community support to reduce feelings of isolation with the Caring Caller programme, supporting families and patients in hospital, spending time with older New Zealanders in care homes, coordinating a Pet Therapy programme, driving patients to vital health appointments, fundraising to keep ambulances on the road, managing St John stores and shaping the leaders of the future in St John Youth.

St John director of community programmes Sarah Manley says these community programmes would be unable to function without volunteers.

"I ask everyone to take the opportunity this week to acknowledge and thank the volunteers in New Zealand who give their time to support New Zealand with their selfless work."

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