Crazy things are hap­pen­ing at St John

Central Leader - - News - By Scott Mor­gan

Young peo­ple in Ep­som just can’t get enough of St John.

With the Ep­som youth divi­sion boast­ing about 120 mem­bers and the New­mar­ket branch not far be­hind, the or­gan­i­sa­tion has had to cre­ate the Corn­wall Park divi­sion to keep up with de­mand.

“Ep­som is the big­gest divi­sion in New Zealand,” St John divi­sional man­ager Na­dine Brens says.

“We needed a new group to take the pres­sure off our leaders. It’s been a bit crazy.”

The 22-year-old says huge in­ter­est from Ep­som Girls Gram­mar and Auck­land Gram­mar School stu­dents led to a bur­geon­ing num­ber of re­cruits.

“They get their friends to come along as well.”

Ms Brens, who has been with St John since she was nine, says the Corn­wall Park divi­sion now needs new re­cruits, with just six or seven mem­bers at­tend­ing reg­u­larly since it started in Fe­bru­ary.

Ac­tiv­i­ties at the meet­ings in­clude ev­ery­thing from the tra­di­tional first aid and drill to mak­ing short films.

“There’s so much to do and of course it’s a good place to meet peo­ple. I think there’s a good bal­ance be­tween learn­ing and hav­ing fun,” she says.

It’s not sur­pris­ing Ms Brens is in­volved with St John, with both her broth­ers leaders in the youth sec­tion and her dad part of the car­ing caller team, which rings el­derly peo­ple ev­ery day.

“It’s def­i­nitely a fam­ily thing,” she says.

St John re­gional youth man­ager Chris­tine Ben­son says the cre­ation of the Corn­wall Park divi- sion is the first time in the north­ern re­gion that there have been three di­vi­sions op­er­at­ing in the one area.

While Corn­wall Park is low on mem­bers at the mo­ment, Ms Ben­son says it’s likely that will change sooner rather than later.

“We of­ten start with just three to five kids, but as long as the pro­gramme is run­ning it will build up in two or three school terms.”

With the ad­di­tion of the new group, there are 52 di­vi­sions through­out the re­gion, from Kaitaia to Waihi, with 2000 youth mem­bers rang­ing from six to 18.

The St John Corn­wall Park youth divi­sion meets at 171 Manukau Rd on Wed­nes­day nights be­tween 6.30pm and 8pm.

For more in­for­ma­tion phone 0800 ST JOHN or visit www.youth.stjohn. co.nz.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Big num­bers: St John divi­sional youth man­ager Na­dine Brens has helped set up a new Corn­wall Park youth divi­sion af­ter the Ep­som branch started to reach capc­ity, with dozens of lo­cal kids join­ing.

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