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Issue 10 September/October 2013




P Aranui High School students Jesse Campbell and Ana Puklowski on the dance floor.

Red Cross helps students get to the ball Students at Aranui High School had not had a school ball for two years following the 2011 Canterbury earthquake. Aranui was one of the hardest hit suburbs in Christchurch and with the amount of damage to the school and homes of students and staff, funding a ball had been impossible. That was, until the school received a Christchurch Schoolchildren’s Grant from Red Cross.

students, who were very disappointed it had to be cancelled the last two years. “It meant a lot to the students to be able to have a ball this year. Our young people had a wonderful time and it was a special night to remember. We are very grateful to the people in New Zealand and overseas who made this night possible,” he says. The importance of the ball was reflected by comments written in a guest book gifted to Red Cross.

Former recovery programme manager Jane Edgar told Campbell Live reporter Jendy Harper that the ball was very much what the grant is about. “Part of the grant is about promoting wellbeing and wellbeing events. When you’re living recovery 24/7 you need time out.”

Students wrote: “Thank you for this amazing blessing!” and “We couldn’t have had a formal like this without you.” Staff and family members also wrote in the book: “Tonight’s memories will last these students forever” and “Since the earthquakes our students and whanau have faced numerous challenges and throughout they have stood firm in their commitment to one another and their community. Thank you for making this night one that the students, whanau and community can share and enjoy.”

School principal, John Rohs, says the ball was the highlight of the year for senior

The Campbell Live story can be viewed at

Aranui put part of its grant funding towards the school leavers’ ball, which had ‘A Night in Paris’ as its theme. It was attended by 100 students and staff.

Welcome to the September/October edition of the New Zealand Red Cross recovery newsletter. The stories in this issue illustrate how Red Cross and the wider Canterbury community are embracing the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ promoted by The Mental Health Foundation: connect, give, take notice, keep learning and be active. The Aranui High School ball provided an opportunity for students, staff and families to connect in a special way that will be remembered for years to come. Those who attended The Body Festival’s ‘Have a Go’ dance workshops were being active while learning something new. At the New Zealand Red Cross youth forum school students connected with each other, took notice of what our leaders shared with them, learnt about the work of Red Cross and have since given their time to volunteer.

IN THIS ISSUE Red Cross helps students get to the ball Youth forum participants challenged to be leaders Cantabrians encouraged to give dancing a go

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NEW ZEALAND RED CROSS SANDRA JAMES – RECOVERY MANAGER stand me in good stead as I now find myself continuing work in recovery.


Greetings! I began working for Red Cross a month ago now. It is a huge privilege and I am very proud to be leading the very committed and professional recovery team. I came to Red Cross from the Waimakariri District Council where I worked for 19 years in the field of community development, the last three years as the social recovery manager. This role ensured ‘people’ were at the centre of our earthquake recovery efforts and the lessons I learnt will

I am particularly interested in exploring how Red Cross might work with many other partners to facilitate communityled recovery as I believe this will be the opportunity to see us not only recover but be stronger and more connected as individuals and in our neighbourhoods and communities too. There is some great work happening within the recovery team. The Christchurch Schoolchildren’s Grant has been warmly welcomed with more than $3.5 million distributed to 179 schools throughout the greater Christchurch region. The Canterbury Men’s Support Project which is running in Rangiora, Lyttelton, Linwood and New Brighton is getting off the ground and is an exciting partnership with the Mental Health Foundation

and community groups. I highly recommend our personal support training, which I attended recently. It helps us understand the ‘disaster’ cycle and how it affects people differently and also increases our knowledge of community diversity and how to take care of ourselves. Our community vans are getting busier and busier which I think shows there is a great need for this valuable service. As we enter into the new year we will be building on the great work that has gone before, but also taking the opportunity to review where we are going and what we want to achieve. I look forward to wide community input into that discussion.

Sandra James



It was about 2.30pm on Friday 16 August when an earthquake of magnitude 6.5 struck Marlborough. It was centred in Seddon and intense enough for my building to shake, but not violently. Shortly thereafter things changed dramatically. There was an immediate gridlock on all roads as parents rushed to schools to get their children. Car numbers of this intensity are unknown in Blenheim. However, all of the schools were very much under control with

children having been assembled in the playgrounds to await the arrival of their parents. The ground continued to shake, making it difficult to drive. Blenheim’s Red Cross Disaster Welfare and Support Team was mobilised with one member arriving at the service centre very quickly to set the vehicle and trailer up. Inevitably, mobile phone networks became overloaded. Civil Defence managed to contact us and we advised that the team would be on its way by 5pm, which was the case. On arrival at Seddon School there was no power initially but this was soon restored. The team quickly set up the school hall as a welfare centre. It was relatively late in the evening when people started to arrive but 28 people stayed overnight including the local MP. Heavy rain set in overnight as well. The Christchurch Red Cross team was

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dispatched to help out overnight, but due to the road conditions their trip took two hours more than usual. It did provide a chance to trial the new disaster welfare support truck. About 550 people were affected by the event and eight houses were found to be uninhabitable. Seddon people were adamant that they would take responsibility for their own recovery and to a large extent they have. However, we are grateful for the support we have received from community organisations such as the Salvation Army and Top of The South. We also appreciated the visits from members of the Red Cross recovery team who distributed copies of a DVD with Dr Rob Gordon’s recovery tips and also delivered torch radios to the two local schools.


Secondary school students challenged to be leaders New Zealand Red Cross President Jenny McMahon had an important message for Christchurch secondary school students at the Red Cross Youth Leadership Development Forum held from 6-8 September. "The only real failure is the failure to try. Be open to opportunities, extend yourself, follow any avenues that look interesting, inspire those around you and take them with you to your destination.” She challenged the students to become the new leaders within Red Cross and their communities, to help Red Cross continually improve, and to get people excited about its work. ‘Educate, Empower, Enable’ was the theme of the youth forum, attended by 35 students in years 11 to 13. They were chosen by their schools to take part in

P Carol Ball explains the setting up of an Emergency Operations Centre.

the event, which was fully funded by New Zealand Red Cross. Co-organiser Carol Ball, area manager for Canterbury and the West Coast, says the forum was part of the on-going efforts of Red Cross to work with young people and encourage their participation as leaders in their communities and in the recovery and rebuild of Christchurch. Students also heard from Vice President and New Zealand Red Cross 2011 Earthquake Commission member Paul Steere, who spoke about the work of Red Cross in New Zealand and overseas. He talked about how recovery grants continue to support people in Canterbury and assured the students that Red Cross had not forgotten about them. “You are still very much in our hearts and thoughts,” he said.

Forum participants gained first-hand experience of Red Cross activities. Some joined volunteers for Meals on Wheels deliveries while others had a first aid training session or set up an Emergency Operations Centre. There were also opportunities for the students to discuss wellbeing in recovery and to explore and give feedback on Red Cross youth website Address the Stress. Participants commented that they “met some awesome people and learnt some handy skills,” and that “We’re not a group, we’re a family.” Their experience did not end at the forum, with students taking away projects that will last them throughout the next year. Some will be assisting Red Cross with upcoming events such as the Canterbury A&P Show in November.

P Students learning basic first aid.

FOURTH iPHONE WINNER ANNOUNCED Congratulations to Jaimie Barr, 15, from Linwood – the proud new owner of an Address the Stress iPhone.

Congrats Jaimie! iPhone 4S 32GB Prize Winner

It is the fourth iPhone to be given away to a young person in Canterbury for submitting a tip on how to get through tough times. Jaimie’s tip is:

“Do something you enjoy, like spending time with family and friends.” Previous winners were Jayden Crofts, 14, from Halswell, Nola Smart, 14, from Beckenham and Jacinta Lowe, 19, from Templeton.

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P Denise Woods puts a new Rock'n'Roll move into practice.

Cantabrians encouraged to give dancing a go Denise Wood’s smile said it all as she spun around the Linwood Community Arts Centre with dancers from the Christchurch Rock’n’Roll club. “I love dancing,” she said afterwards. “It gets your body moving and is good for the brain.” Ms Wood attended one of the Body Festival’s ‘Have a Go’ workshops sponsored by Red Cross. There were 18 workshops held in September and October at various locations around greater Christchurch.

Red Cross volunteers and staff were at the workshops participating in the dance lessons, handing out water and healthy food and providing information about support available through the Red Cross recovery programme. The Cross Town Shuttle was made available to transport community groups to and from ‘Have a Go’ workshops. Expanding on medicallyfocused community transport the Cross Town Shuttle aims to relieve social isolation and encourage people to participate in recreational activities and community events. Recovery Manager Sandra James says the Body Festival workshops were an excellent way to promote some of the key aspects of a successful recovery.

The workshops included Tap, Blues, Maori Performing Arts, Flamenco, Hip Hop, Victorian, Jazz, Salsa, Tango and Line dancing. The Body Festival artistic director, Adam Hayward, says there was a marked increase in attendance this year. “Around 400 members of the public attended the ‘Have a Go’ workshops,”

he said. “They went fantastically well and their success is largely thanks to linkages with Red Cross and the All Right? campaign.”

“The workshops encouraged people to take time out to try something new, have some fun and connect with others. Self-care is important, particularly at this stage of the recovery process, and the dance workshops made people smile and laugh.”


$89m distributed in grants

111,551 3,804 5,164 12,750 grants recipients

outreach visits

door knocks

winter warmer packs distributed

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James manages and organises the passenger referrals and timetables for the three Cross Town Shuttle vans, which run from Monday to Friday. He is also responsible for recruiting, training and supervising the volunteers who drive the vans and support the passengers. His other tasks include vehicle upkeep and maintenance. James says that his background is helpful to the role. “I volunteered with Civil Defence for 15 years and led a large team for seven of those years. This experience certainly helps with coordinating community transport,” he says. “Coordinating the Community Transport programme is very rewarding. Recently we were able to get a regular passenger to the hospital for an operation, as an appointment became available at the last minute. Being able to help in this way was a great feeling.”

REMINDER! We have grants available to assist people in greater Christchurch with moving house and storing their belongings. For eligibility or more information go to and click on Canterbury.

National Office PO Box 12140 Thorndon, Wellington 6144 69 Molesworth Street Thorndon, Wellington 6011 Phone 04 471 8250 Email Website

Recovery newsletter Sept-Oct 2013  
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