Te Awamutu Courier
Have a heart of gold for St John Ambulance appeal
As emergency ambulance staff continue to face unprecedented demand, St John is asking New Zealanders to have a “heart of gold” and support its annual appeal this April.
St John’s Heart of Gold Annual Appeal is the most significant fundraiser of the calendar year.
Last year, 111 call volumes increased almost 10 per cent nationwide to more than 600,000 and St John ambulance officers attended over 400,000 emergencies — about 5 per cent more than the previous year.
This pressure comes on top of ongoing year on year increases in demand for emergency ambulance services which have experienced unprecedented demand in recent months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Our Heart of Gold Annual Appeal is about showing kindness and helping in a time of need,” says St John chief executive Peter Bradley.
“As demand on our services has increased, our ambulance staff have continued to step forward and be there for communities throughout
Aotearoa,” he says.
“In return, we have seen incredible acts of support from the public — and their ongoing support right now is as important as ever.”
Due to the ongoing risks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, this is the second time in recent years St John has had to make the decision to cancel nationwide street collections and other face-toface fundraising activities such as bake sales and sausage sizzles in order to keep New Zealanders safe.
Unfortunately, this significantly hampers the ability for St John to connect with the community at a local level and thank donors and supporters in person.
With ever increasing pressure on ambulance services, through this year’s Heart of Gold Annual Appeal St John aims to raise $2 million to go towards support for ambulances and lifesaving equipment.
“We appreciate the continued funding and support we receive from the Government for our ambulance service, as well as the generosity of the public that helps to ensure we maintain the best level of critical care to our patients,” says Peter.
“We are extremely grateful to every individual and group that offers their support.”
Donations to St John’s Heart of Gold Annual Appeal can be made online by searching St John Appeal, directly at heartofgold.org.nz, by texting APPEAL to 2790 or by calling 0800 ST JOHN (0800 785 646).