Na­tional ser­vice award

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

For­mer Ber­ri­gan res­i­dent An­drew Horne has re­ceived a pres­ti­gious Youth Mer­i­to­ri­ous Ser­vice Award.

Recog­nis­ing ser­vice of spe­cial merit by Red Cross peo­ple aged 29 years or less, the 28 year-old was pre­sented with the award at the NSW Aus­tralian Red Cross an­nual gen­eral meet­ing last month.

Mr Horne was specif­i­cally recog­nised for his ex­cep­tional ser­vice in pur­suit of ef­fec­tive youth en­gage­ment at a NSW divi­sional level.

‘‘It’s hum­bling and it came as quite a sur­prise,’’ he said of the hon­our.

Mr Horne started vol­un­teer­ing for the Red Cross dur­ing the Vic­to­rian Black Satur­day Bush­fires in 2011.

‘‘Many fire crews from Fin­ley, Jer­ilderie, Ber­ri­gan and Tocumwal went to Kinglake to as­sist.

‘‘I helped run the Ber­ri­gan street stall that raised money for those af­fected.

‘‘The Red Cross has strong fun­da­men­tals. It’s nice to know that peo­ple im­pacted by floods or bush­fires have a shoul­der to rest on when they’re go­ing through trou­bling times.’’

Mr Horne has also been a highly com­mit­ted and val­ued team mem­ber of the Save-A-Mate crew since 2014.

Save-A-Mate vol­un­teers at­tend ma­jor mu­sic fes­ti­vals and pro­vide as­sis­tance for any­one who may have con­sumed too much al­co­hol or drugs, pro­vid­ing com­fort and safety.

‘‘It’s very re­ward­ing to be part of SaveA-Mate,’’ he said.

‘‘I think the rea­son I work closely with youth and they con­fide in me is be­cause I’m close to their age.

‘‘Many trou­bled youths, par­tic­u­larly at fes­ti­vals, would rather have com­fort from a stranger than from their par­ents.’’

Mr Horne be­came a mem­ber of the Ber­ri­gan Red Cross branch in 2011. His mother Lyn­dall Horne is an ac­tive mem­ber.

He quickly rose to a gov­er­nance role, be­ing elected to the Divi­sional Ad­vi­sory Board at the age of 24.

Mr Horne now re­sides in Wol­lon­gong. He is also a mem­ber of the Wol­lon­gong North Emer­gency Ser­vices.

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