San­dra mer­its award sup­port­ing vic­tims

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By KA­T­RINA LINTONBON

Mata­mata’s San­dra Hunter was one of just three re­cip­i­ents across New Zealand to re­ceive a Vic­tim Sup­port Na­tional Merit Award this year.

The awards recog­nise ex­em­plary ser­vice to Vic­tim Sup­port and were pre­sented at the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s na­tional an­nual meet­ing in Welling­ton.

Vic­tim Sup­port has been pre­sent­ing Na­tional Merit Awards for sev­eral years.

Mata­mata-Pi­ako dis­trict Vic­tim Sup­port com­mit­tee po­lice li­ai­son Bruce Milne and fel­low com­mit­tee mem­ber Diane Hazel­ton have also re­ceived the pres­ti­gious award in past years.

As the chair­woman of the lo­cal Mata­mata- Pi­ako Group com­mit­tee, San­dra tries to at­tend the na­tional an­nual meet­ing ev­ery year.

‘‘When they said my name I felt hum­bled,’’ she said.

Vic­tim Sup­port is the community re­sponse to peo­ple af­fected by crime and trauma. They help peo­ple hurt by crime and trauma find hope, strength and re­silience in the face of grief and trauma.

Their ser­vice is pro­vided free in com­mu­ni­ties throughout New Zealand.

It is de­liv­ered by trained vol­un­teers who give their time, en­ergy and ex­per­tise to help peo­ple in their lo­cal community.

Vic­tim Sup­port vol­un­teers are care­fully se­lected and trained on all as­pects of pro­vid­ing sup­port to vic­tims of crime and trauma.

San­dra is one of the found­ing mem­bers of the Mata­mata-Pi­ako com­mit­tee and has been in­volved with Vic­tim Sup­port since it started in the area in 1990.

She also co-au­thored a Vic­tim Sup­port train­ing man­ual with Frances Earl and ran train­ing cour­ses for sev­eral years.

Be­cause of her coun­selling back­ground be­fore be­com­ing in­volved with Vic­tim Sup­port, San­dra did work for the po­lice.

On ac­cept­ing the award, San­dra paid trib­ute to the team of vol­un­teers and other com­mit­tee mem­bers with whom she works.

‘‘I can re­mem­ber hear­ing Richie McCaw say­ing: ‘No one is more spe­cial than the whole team,’ and think­ing, that’s what I be­lieve,’’ San­dra said.

‘‘In Mata­mata-Pi­ako I’m proud of the cal­i­bre of the vol­un­teers and the jobs they do. New Zealand is blessed to have such a won­der­ful sense of vol­un­teerism.’’

Hum­bled: San­dra Hunter with her Vic­tim Sup­port Na­tional Merit Award.

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