Canterbury-West Coast Cancer Society wins national volunteer award

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A group of volunteers who try to make living with cancer easier for people have been recognised for their work.
The Canterbury West Coast Division of the Cancer Society were named today as the overall winner of the 2014 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.
Health Minister Tony Ryall said the division is made up of 16 rural support groups of more than 400 volunteers.
“This dedicated group of people ferry rural cancer patients to appointments, deliver meals and baking, provide companionship and help raise awareness of a disease that affects one in three New Zealanders.
“Their work is greatly valued by cancer patients and their families from Westport to Christchurch to Twizel and everywhere in between.”
Two members of the division have travelled to Wellington Hospital to receive their award today.
The Wellington Free Ambulance won the award for the Health Care Provider Service (team). The free ambulance service works to treat intoxicated people, deal with minor injuries like cuts and bruises to lighten the load of front-line emergency department staff at Wellington Hospital.
Joan McCardle won the award for Health Care Provider Service (individual) for setting up Friends of the Emergency Department at Taranaki DHB. The team supports patients and families when they arrive at the emergency department.
The performance workshop for young people with disabilities Star Jam won the award for Youth Health Volunteers.
Award ceremonies will also be held at Middlemore Hospital on Friday and at Christchurch Hospital later this month.
The awards coincide with National Volunteer Week this week — New Zealand’s largest celebration of volunteering and civic participation.