What is your role?

I'm currently an Area Councillor and a Disaster Welfare and Support Team member, having previously volunteered in a number of emergency response and recovery roles over the past ten years. 

Where?

I live in Geraldine and volunteer in Timaru, South Canterbury.

Where have you been deployed to? What’s it like to be deployed?

I’ve been involved in the Canterbury earthquakes response and recovery, the November 2016 earthquake response and recovery, three deployments to Dunedin during flooding, the Edgecumbe floods and the Nelson fires.

Being able to help communities during a disaster is gratifying and so rewarding. Being deployed gives me a sense of purpose and wellbeing. During deployment, we [DWST members] are able to put the training we have received into practise.

I have found that most deployments are different – the situations, the needs, the support – but Psychological First Aid is one of the key requirements to have in our tool box for all events.

These are the times when all those hours of training come to the fore and DWST members react well because of their training.

Why do you volunteer?

Being there for others and connecting with those in need, and the ability to give back to those that require assistance during difficult times, gives me a good feeling of belonging and purpose.

How would describe yourself in a sentence?

Trustworthy, reliable and usually always available to help and assist, whoever and whenever needed or required.

Where is your favourite place in the world? Why?

At home in New Zealand, in Geraldine. The South Island is such a friendly and awesome place. We are so privileged to live in a country like this.

What is your favourite part about volunteering?

Deployment and helping out. I enjoy the comradeship and catching up with the Red Cross family on training nights, exercises and deployments. The members bonding with one another is awesome. The Red Cross image is so strong and appreciated by those in need.

Do you have a favourite moment from your Red Cross volunteering?

There are many moments, but the biggest buzz is seeing the gratitude of those affected when giving help to those that need support. The red of the Red Cross uniform has a positive effect on affected people, especially when they were not expecting your presence.