December 5, 2021

Volunteering Waikato honours volunteers; Kathryn wins ‘Excellence’ Award 2021

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Commitment to St John’s has resulted in Tirau’s Kathryn Gillingham winning Volunteering Waikato’s 2021 Volunteer Excellence Award at a function held yesterday at the Atrium, Hamilton.

Kathryn was nominated by the Order of St John for her immense commitment to Tairua First Response Unit. She ensured the “unit is going and responds to jobs with the crew that would otherwise have to wait if no one is available, and in time-critical situations this can mean the difference between life and death.”

Kathryn Gillingham
Kathryn Gillingham (Photos courtesy: Volunteering Waikato/FB)

The Team Excellence Award went to the diverse, befriending 20-odd volunteers of the Aspire – Community Support who “put in the time to build a relationship with the person they support.”

Team of Aspire Community Support
Team of Aspire- Community Support

Sandra Drummond and Allan RuBay – nominated by the Kaawhia Rowing Regatta Club, won the Long Service Award for their 30+ years of leadership and guidance to the Club.

Sandra Drummond & Allan RuBay
Allan RuBay & Sandra Drummond

Decades of hard work of Rena Williams helping Hamilton Gardens grow, was also formally recognised and she was awarded Runner Up in the Long Service category.

For more than 40 years, Rena Williams has been one of Hamilton City Council’s beloved volunteers and has helped grow the Hamilton Gardens from the roots up.

Rena Williams
Rena Williams (Photo courtesy: HCC)

With her late husband Gerard’s dedication, she helped transform a site that was once the city’s main rubbish dump into the world-class attraction it is today.

Rena has been involved in fundraising for the Hamilton Gardens for 42 years, with her efforts helping the Friends of Hamilton Gardens to fundraise more than $1 million for its development.

Several other volunteers were also recognised and honoured with awards in various categories.

The Volunteer Excellence Awards are hosted annually by Volunteering Waikato to recognise and celebrate volunteers and volunteering in our community.