Into the breach again and again – 15 years of service recognised

21 December 2023

Mobilising the power of humanity needs extraordinary human beings. That’s why every year we recognise the service of our people through national honours and awards. We’re a team of over 500 employees and 9,000 members and volunteers across the motu from Kaitaia to Invercargill.

Over 100 people were recognised for their service in 2023. Kath Cosgrove was one of them – she received an Honorary Life Membership, awarded to people who’ve given remarkable service and dedication to Red Cross. From earthquakes, to fires, and floods, Kath’s seen many disasters during 15 years as a disaster welfare and support volunteer.

She joined the Dunedin Disaster Welfare and Support Team in 2008 and deployed in 2010 after the first Canterbury earthquake. She was back in Christchurch after the 2011 Canterbury earthquake, setting up a Civil Defence Centre, doing door-to-door assessments with a team of civil engineers, and helping people fill in applications for Red Cross grants.

She also deployed after the South Dunedin floods and Chain Hills fire in 2015, the Kaikōura earthquake in 2016, the Dunedin and Mosgiel floods in 2017, and the Burnside fire and South Dunedin floods in 2018. In 2016, her expertise was called on in Darwin, Australia, where she deployed to assist Australian Red Cross after the Daly River floods.

Kath was a valued senior member of the Dunedin team and is now currently with the Christchurch Disaster Welfare and Support Team. She continues to organise and lead training sessions and exercises, always ready to deploy when the call comes.

“Kath is a calm and supportive face of Red Cross to the communities experiencing the aftermath of disasters. As a senior Disaster Welfare and Support Team member, she’s often kept an eye on the younger members and acted as a mentor to them,” said Jane Wilson – Red Cross Area 7 Council Chair.

“She’s consistently gone above and beyond in showing her dedication to Red Cross both here and abroad, freely giving her time and effort to further the mission,” said Jane.

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