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Thursday July 27, 2017

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Building an ambulance together By Emma McAuliffe

Wellington Free Ambulance is building an ambulance – and they need your help. The charity began their campaign to build an ambulance “for the people, by the people” last Thursday night at People’s

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Coffee in Newtown. As part of the event attendees had the chance to watch a coffee making competition between Acting Mayor of Wellington, Paul Eagle and paramedics. They also had the chance to build a replica of the new People’s Ambulance made out

of banana boxes painted by Menzshed Kapiti. Executive manager fundraising and communications, Diane Livingston, said the event gave people the chance to celebrate the history of Wellington Free Ambulance and find out more about the

Event Medic Natasha Lewis won the coffee making competition. PHOTO: Supplied. Inquiries welcome

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campaign to buy a People’s Ambulance. This would be the first time in its 90 year history the ambulance service had fundraised with communities to purchase an ambulance. “We’re going to build an ambulance for the people by the people,” Diane said. “In 1927 the Mayor at the time was driving along Lambton Quay when he stopped to help someone. From that day on he decided ambulances in Wellington would be free. And they still are today,” she said. Wellington has the only free ambulances in the country. “We are celebrating our one of a kindness,” Diane said. Diane said the People’s Ambulance would have a special logo and would feature the names of the suburbs benefitted by Wellington Free Ambulance. She said the charity needed to raise around $200,000 to make the ambulance.  For more information on The People’s Ambulance and how to get involved head to




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A national organisation finding mentors for fatherless boys says after 20 years in the business, they are still looking for men with a kind heart rather than a saintly disposition. The message is vital for the increasingly busy Big Buddy, a charity based in Wellington, Auckland and Hamilton. The Wellington base was currently fielding increasing interest from mothers and grandmothers raising boys without a father figure and their list of available mentors was dwindling. A rea coord i nator Dave Burcher said men who could

spare a couple of hours a week to share with a “Little Buddy” should know they did not have to be perfect to pick up the phone. Laura Virgo’s nine-year-old son Jonathan was matched with his Big Buddy Kevin Stevens three years ago. She said it was important men with something positive to offer did not fear the chance to share it. “Just having a bloke in a boy’s life is good enough,” she said. “It’s a different dynamic and as much as I can provide emotionally and financially, enabling my son to become

a decent human being, there are just some perspectives, as a female, that I can’t give him. “It’s difficult to put in words but men approach things differently and that’s okay. “I’m lucky that Jonathan is a great kid anyway but it warms my heart to see how he is identifying how to be a young man because that cornerstone of his life, an adult male role model , is present on a regular basis.” Big Buddy CEO Richard Aston said once someone put themselves forward, they had a “world-class” vetting process and matching system to make sure they were dealing with


safe, sound men. “We start with a year’s commitment – that’s a minimum – but so often this becomes a lifelong relationship,” Richard said. “It is that time spent, that willingness to be alongside boy as he becomes a man that is probably the greatest gift that our organisation channels through to these boys.” Once someone is ready to become a Big Buddy, they will meet the seven to 14-year-old boy that coordinators have worked to match them with.  For more information head to

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Cook Strait News 27-07-17  

Cook Strait News 27-07-17

Cook Strait News 27-07-17  

Cook Strait News 27-07-17