Crazy things are happening at St John
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.
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.