Sandra merits award supporting victims
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.