Un­sung hero’s work re­warded

School break­fast or­gan­iser’s ded­i­ca­tion gets recog­ni­tion


Feed­ing chil­dren break­fast and of­fer­ing a lis­ten­ing ear has earned a Can­nons Creek vol­un­teer an un­sung hero award.

Ev­ery week morn­ing Celia Roche gets to Holy Fam­ily School at 7.30am. She sets out food, or­gan­ises the other vol­un­teers and chats to the chil­dren. About 40 turn up ev­ery day.

On Thurs­day last week, Min­is­ter of So­cial Devel­op­ment Anne Tol­ley awarded her the only na­tion­wide Un­sung Hero award as part of the Kick­start Break­fast Awards.

‘‘I was to­tally sur­prised. There were no hints,’’ Roche said. ‘‘I just love start­ing the day do­ing this.’’

Roche, a read­ing re­cov­ery teacher, said af­ter the break­fasts started six years ago, they no­ticed a dif­fer­ence in the chil­dren’s learn­ing and at­ten­tion. ‘‘It was just so no­tice­able. ‘‘I liked the idea of chil­dren start­ing the day happy and want­ing to learn.’’

Tol­ley said the Un­sung Hero award was pre­sented yearly to a per­son who works tire­lessly be­hind the scenes, and sought lit­tle or no recog­ni­tion.

‘‘Celia has vol­un­teered five days a week for the past six years and is the epit­ome of what this award stands for,’’ Tol­ley said.

Cousins Jotham, 9, and Madi­son, 9, Sete­fano were part of the Holy Fam­ily break­fast club and said Roche de­served the award.

‘‘ She’s nice and kind to us,’’ Madi­son said.

‘‘She makes sure we have break- fast. She al­ways makes sure we have the right amount of sugar too.’’

Kick­Start Break­fast is a part­ner­ship be­tween Fon­terra, San­i­tar­ium and the Gov­ern­ment to pro­vide a free school break­fast of An­chor milk and Weet­Bix to all New Zealand schools, five days a week. More than 95,000 break­fasts are served each week in over 730 schools.

‘‘This part­ner­ship would not be such a suc­cess with­out the great vol­un­teers across the coun­try who give up their time to help our chil­dren suc­ceed and my thanks go out to them all,’’ Tol­ley said.


Say cheese: Anne Tol­ley and chil­dren from Holy Fam­ily School in Can­nons Creek.

Big hello: Min­is­ter of So­cial Devel­op­ment Anne Tol­ley was wel­comed by chil­dren at Holy Fam­ily School.

Chil­dren’s hero: Anne Tol­ley con­grat­u­lates Celia Roche.

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