Thursday June 21, 2018
Fundraiser turned volunteer medic loves the challenge Volunteer Awareness Week is a chance for Wellington Free Ambulance to say thank you to their incredible volunteer event medics for all their hard work and effort. One of those volunteers is Jude Partridge. Three years ago, after organising the PricewaterhouseCoopers Foundation Charity Relay, and raising over $95,000 for four charities including Wellington Free Ambulance, Jude enquired about joining the Wellington Free Team as a volunteer event medic and has never looked back. “I’d always been interested in becoming a paramedic, but as my career advanced in marketing and communications I felt I had left it too late to begin studying
for a different career. “After the 2015 PwC Foundation Charity Relay and meeting the fantastic team of event medics on the day I thought I could give it go and join them,” says Jude. Juggling work, children and volunteering can be difficult, but Jude says thanks to an understanding employer and supportive husband she manages to do it all. “I’m extremely lucky to work for an organisation [that] encourages and supports their staff to get involved with volunteering and give back to their communities,” says Jude. “For weekday events PwC allows staff to utilise volunteering leave to help balance work and
personal life. For those events on the weekends…a supportive husband certainly helps!” Jude acknowledges that with many people leading such busy lives, it can become increasingly difficult to find time to volunteer, but she highlights the importance of helping out where you can, saying it’s an “amazing feeling”. “Being that person to help someone in their time of need is a very rewarding experience.” Wellington Free has 80 qualified volunteers completing around 1000 hours per month and it takes extraordinary commitment, tenacity and resilience. Those interested in joining should visit: www.wfa.org.nz/ volunteer or email volunteers@ wfa.org.nz.
Volunteer event medic Jude Partridge treats a patient. PHOTO: Supplied
Councillors back anti-diesel bus group’s concerns A group of Greater Wellington Regional and Wellington City Councillors have backed the findings by a campaign group on the impact of public transport changes on people living along routes that have been switched from trolleys to diesel buses. ReVolt Wellington have identified a 200 percent increase in carcinogenic diesel pollutants for the next decade, a 300 percent increase in noise compared to the trolley bus era, and a drop in property values across the east-west corridor when the GWRC’s new high-frequency bus network is phased in during July. At a meeting convened by the group on Wednesday night at the Seatoun Village Hall, regional councillors Sue Kedgley, Daran Ponter and Roger Blakely, city councillors Chris Calvi-Freeman and Sarah Free, and Rongotai MP Paul Eagle, met with concerned citizens from across Wellington who expressed their mounting concern about the massive increase in noise and pollution they have been exposed to by the change to a predominantly
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diesel bus fleet. Since removal of the trolley buses pollution-measuring equipment in the city has shown a rise in nitrous oxide levels - a key indicator of diesel pollution. Sue advocates strengthening local body rules to limit the harm of pollution and says there is nothing to stop putting money into battery-powered electric buses now. “What has happened does not surprise me,” Sue says. “Diesel fumes are class one carcinogens on a par with asbestos and there is a global movement to get rid of diesel buses and replace them with electric public transport including electric buses and light rail. “So we need to move as fast as we can to get rid of diesel buses.” She also notes the terminus at Seatoun creates particular problems as it is right next door to houses, something highlighted in a Seven Sharp item this week. Posting on ReVolt’s Facebook page, Strathmore mother Carissa Toelupe said she “holds her breath” when she puts her
baby to sleep as buses idle outside her home. A Houghton Bay resident at the meeting called the prospect of homeowners along bus routes having to spend thousands of dollars to soundproof their homes against noise “disgusting”. Sue hopes Greater Wellington can get battery buses as soon as possible on the number 2 route that ends in Seatoun.
“We also need to consider if we could move the terminus away from a built-up residential area.” With the number of diesel buses expected to increase dramatically when new operator Tranzit begins next month, Paul Eagle said a change in thinking was needed at the national level. He offered to get a local group together to meet the Minister of Transport.
Cook Strait News 21-06-18