Community Service Awards
The Clutha District Community Service Awards is an annual event recognising groups, an individual, and a year 13 student in the community who are doing great volunteer work for the Clutha District.
2022 Award recipients
The dedication and commitment to volunteer work in the Clutha District has been formally acknowledged by the Mayor and Councillors at the 2022 Clutha District Community Awards held at the Rosebank Lodge on Thursday June 23.
Clutha Parks Trust was the supreme winner of the group award. While individual awards were presented to Simon Cleverley, Francis Parker, Murray Paterson, Dale Wyber, Nathan Baldwin and Arthur White (posthumous) in acknowledgement of their community service to the district.
Clutha District Council Mayor Bryan Cadogan said it was a privilege to honour the recipients for their outstanding community service to Clutha.
“The district is extremely lucky to have these volunteers working away, tirelessly making Clutha a great place to live, whether it’s being a driving force and creating a major bike trail or being one of those really great, salt of the earth members of a local sports club, always mucking in and doing what needs to be done – they really are community heros,” Mayor Cadogan said.
He said the Clutha Parks Trust, all volunteers, was one of the first groups to partner with Council and step up to the challenge of re-designing a seven phase significant redevelopment of Naish Park and Centennial Ground.
“The work they have put in, from meetings to rolling up their sleeves and holding working bees is really something to behold.”
Other groups presented with awards in the various categories included:
- Blessed Box Charitable Trust - health and well-being
- Clutha Budget Advisory Support group - health and well-being
Winning recipients in each of the Community Group areas received $1,000 and the Supreme Winner of that group received an additional $2,000.
Year 13 South Otago High School student Mari Chacapna was the successful recipient of the Youth Spirit Award for her outstanding contribution to her school and community and was presented with $750.
A high calibre award was presented to Fraser McAtamney (South Otago High School).
Community Award Recipients
Individual award winners (alphabetical order)
Council is proud to honour Nathan Baldwin for his unwavering support and service to the Kaitangata community, in particular his support of the Kaitangata Black Gold BMX Club. Every club needs a person like Nathan, all the kids look up to him and he always has an encouraging comment for them. He participates in all the various community events and projects, trail bike rides, clearing tracks, and has spent most of his years since a teenager developing mountain bike tracks and building jumps in the Kaitangata hills. He’s put in over a decade of his time, from running the trail ride, barbecues, weeding, mowing lawns and digging ditches. He has been instrumental in helping support the young mountain bike enthusiasts that have recently developed and constructed a new downhill mountain bike park in Balclutha. Each week he takes part in the ‘Dig Nights’ that have been going since December 2021, and providing his track expertise. He just doesn't stop, any spare time he has, he's helping with something in the community. An all-round good guy. A real community hero.
Council is proud to honour Simon Cleverley for his outstanding fundraising efforts to support families with sick children and his overall services to the South Otago community. He is always willing to lend a hand and help the community out when needed, doing the things that often go unnoticed. Simon is a very generous businessman in many ventures throughout the community. He donates his time, kind heart, organisational ability. And his interest in sport, sees him provide a lot of donations and sponsorship to a wide variety of organisations, even those outside the Clutha district. Over the past four years more than $200,000 has being raised for families in need and often the money is needed quickly. The T20 "cricket bash for cash" recipients, the Palmer, Latta and Wells families have all been supporting their children through very difficult times. This year $105,000 was raised for the Maguire family along with the help of the Kaka Point Outdoor Bowling Club for the "Bowls for Bryn" event. Simon also helps to organize many online auctions as part of the fundraising efforts for these families. The money raised has mainly gone towards covering health costs which have little or no government funding.
Simon’s dedication and enthusiasm to get the community involved in his fundraising ideas and provide the financial support to these families is a testimony to his generosity to the greater Clutha district.
Council is proud to honour Francis Parker for his exceptional fundraising efforts to support families with sick children and services to South Otago rugby and cricket. As well as maintaining an admirable cricket and rugby career, Francis has helped keep both sports alive in the district. His organizing ability, and his interest in sport sees him donate a lot to time to the sports he enjoys. His cricket and rugby preview write ups along with his after game reports feature on the Facebook pages he’s created to keep past and new players informed and interested in the two sports. Francis makes Clutha a district you want to play sport in. The high standard of Southern Region Rugby, and South Otago Premier Cricket competitions are a credit to Francis. Alongside Simon, Francis also helped raise more than $200,000 for families in need in just four years. His cricket expertise was used to help organise the “cricket bash for cash" that provided financial support for the Palmer, Latta and Wells families. An additional $105,000 was raised for the Maguire family along with the help of the Kaka Point Outdoor Bowling Club for the "Bowls for Bryn" event. Francis also helps organize online auctions to aid the fundraising and keeps those that have donated up to date with how the fundraising is going via social media.
Council is proud to honour Murray Paterson for his efforts and service in leading the work done with the Lawrence to Waihola Gold Trail. A farmer from Lawrence, he has been dedicated to the development of the Clutha Gold Cycle Trail since its inception in 2006. When a new group was formed to extend the trail from Lawrence to Waihola, Murray was elected chairman. Murray has liaised with engineers and the many landowners along the way. His group is made up entirely of volunteers giving their time to see that the trail is completed. There are many day-to-day issues that Murray, as chairman, has had to deal with which require great patience. Financial issues and fundraising have been a very important part in seeing that the trail is completed. Supplies such as fencing material, culvert pipes and other materials have had to be purchased at the best negotiated prices and then stored safely at convenient places along the trail, all work that Murray has had to been involved in as a volunteer. Murray is also a member of the Central Otago Clutha Trails Ltd, formed in 2014, to maintain the Roxburgh Gorge and the Clutha Gold Trails. His down-to-earth ability and experience make him a very valuable member of that group. His work as a volunteer has been above the call of duty and the way he has diplomatically and wisely dealt with the many challenges. The community is lucky to have a man of the calibre of Murray to lead and oversee the extension of the cycle trail from Lawrence to Waihola.
Arthur White (posthumous award)
Council is proud to honour Arthur White in recognition for over 30 years’ service to youth. Arthur and his wife Barbara have hosted nearly 4000 young people from the Clutha District on their yacht, Elwing, sailing around Stewart Island. An Outward Bound instructor, Arthur was dedicated to providing experiential learning by teaching Clutha kids how to sail, snorkel, navigate at sea, and much more. Their experience at sea on his yacht had allowed them to build transferable skills and attitudes that remain far beyond their time at sea. He provided a real, safe adventure for youth to learn more about themselves and others through challenges, successes, failures, self-reflection and feedback. They have then taken these valuable learnings away to support their future work, study and home life and this is his legacy to our youth.
Council is proud to honour Dale Wyber for her tireless commitment and services to the Milton Bruce Community. Dale works hard behind the scenes. She’s on several committees, volunteers for countless different clubs and organisations and is responsible for being the driving force behind the set up and development of the Tokomairiro Community Hub and Project Bruce. In 2015 Dale recognised the need for support and advocacy services in the Milton community and sourced grant funding to employ a support and advocacy worker through the Methodist Mission. This led to the creation of a space to house the support and advocacy worker and grew into what is now our Tokomairiro Community Hub. The Hub now hosts up to 19 different health and social services making them accessible to the people of Milton and the surrounding areas. In 2016 Dale also recognised the need for a community development program for Bruce and sourced grant funding from the Department of Internal Affairs for the creation of Project Bruce, this organisation has also grown since its initial creation and Dale, a board member, is still driving the projects that are at the heart of the Bruce community. Dale is a huge advocate for the vulnerable members of our community and will go above and beyond to help them out, whether it’s organising food parcels, transport, medication deliveries or health appointments. Dale also played a key role in organising a community response plan during the Covid19 pandemic. She ensured community members had relevant information and was intrinsic in connecting community members to relevant services and keeping communication flowing to ensure that no one was left behind. In 2007 to 2009 Dale was on the steering committee to help initiate Tokomairiro Waiora. In 2020 Dale put together a funding application for a feasibility study for the Milton Swimming Pool project. This study helped to get the ball rolling on the project. Along with this list of achievements Dale continues to volunteer for meals on wheels, volunteer drivers, Blessed Box, the Aspiring Leaders Forum and Moanariri crib owners’ restoration projects.
Youth Spirit Award
Mari Chacapna - overall winner
Mari’s contribution to her school and local community is to be truly admired. Mari has a passion for the arts, a violin player she has been a member of the school orchestra that played in school prize givings. Mari enjoys choir and singing and has participated in South Otago High School production shows and is a member of the South Otago Theatrical Society. She was awarded the 2018 Weir Trophy for best contribution to junior music. She was awarded Excellence in Arts in Year 12 with her art works chosen for the Dunedin Art Exhibition in 2021. Strong communication skills enabled her to place 1st in the South Otago High School’s Writing Competition and 3rd in their Speech Competition in 2019. She is a member of school’s Student Council and Peer Support. Mari volunteers helping at the Breakfast Club - providing breakfast to students. She has also been involved in Environmental Club meetings, participated in the World Vision 40 Hour Famine and is part of the Queer Straight Alliance. She has achieved her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver awards. She was also a Young Enterprise member and marketing manager. Mari enjoys playing badminton and netball and up until recently managed working part time at New World Balclutha. Mari has a deep respect for caring for the aged and would like to work in a rest home in Balclutha. She shows respect for her teachers and mentors and values her schooling.
Fraser McAtamney - high calibre
Fraser’s contribution to his school is to the forefront as deputy head boy of South Otago High School organising and leading many student activities. Fraser is a genuinely caring and kind. He treats everyone with respect and is quick to point out the right thing to do. He is often the voice of the students on the student council, always advocating for the best for everyone. His election as deputy head boy reflects the standing, he has among both the students and staff. He takes an active leadership role in the school and leads by example. He was the leader of World Vision 40 Hour Famine in 2021 raising money for kids in Africa. Also, in 2021 he was the CEO of the Young Enterprise group Happy Hives, where they sold children's activity books to educate the purpose of bees in the community. Fraser is involved in the arts at school, having joined and competed at other schools for Theatre Sports, singing with the vocal group and having lead roles in the senior and junior productions. He is also Otago Theatrical Society member. Fraser was one of the winners of the Clutha District and Police Road Sign competition and his sign is erected in North Balclutha and Kaitangata.
Group award winners
Health and Wellbeing
Blessed Box Charitable Trust
Council is proud to honour Blessed Box in the community service awards for their initiative to provide support and nourishment to Clutha District mothers and families following the birth of their baby. Since its inception, 154 beautifully curated boxes containing a prepared family meal, cupcakes and other treats, as well as breastfeeding and sleep deprivation snacks have been given to Clutha mothers to help connect the community, support and nourish at an important and often challenging time of their life.
On the last Saturday of every month, Blessed Box volunteers meet to cook and prepare a family meal, cupcakes and bliss balls. Once the meals are prepared, the boxes are curated. They also include garlic bread, coleslaw, fruit cordial, breastfeeding support cookies, sleep deprivation support (chocolate), mental as well as emotional supportive material including facial and body masks as well as other “feel good” items. Once the boxes are packed and ready to go, additional volunteers arrive to collect and deliver the boxes to the postpartum mums.
There is a significant amount of time and work involved for the committee of volunteers to make sure all mums receive their blessed box from collating details of the mums that will require deliveries and their details through to assessing how many groceries are required for each month’s cook up. As well as applying for grants, fundraising, and reporting.
On average, there are 198 babies born every year in the Clutha District. Feedback from mums and local midwives is that there is a need in the community to provide support through the gift of food and other postnatal supportive aids. There have also been a number of mothers who have received the Blessed Box who have since joined to volunteer their time.
Clutha Budget Advisory Support
Council is proud to honour the Clutha Budget Advisory Service / KiwiHarvest Community Foodshare Partnership for its service to increasing food security in Balclutha and surrounding areas by sharing excess food with anyone who needs it. The food is shared with kindness and without judgement. This partnership is in addition to our core work of Financial Mentoring, and runs alongside their other community projects.
In May 2021 after many months of talks and planning, The Clutha Budget Advisory Service (CBAS) formed a partnership with KiwiHarvest in Dunedin. KiwiHarvest works with food businesses, including supermarkets, wholesalers, producers, cafes, restaurants, and hotels, to rescue the good food that they are not able to sell – whether that is because of oversupply, damaged packaging, cancelled orders, mislabelling, or because the food is nearing its best before date or end of life. This rescue food is then redistributed to community organisations throughout New Zealand for distribution to the clients they work with. Presbyterian Support found a volunteer willing to commit to the role, and purchased a fridge, freezer and shelving units.
Every second Wednesday afternoon the big green refrigerated KiwiHarvest truck drives down from Dunedin and delivers food to their premises in James Street. And then on Thursday morning they put out the KiwiHarvest flag and invite the community to come and collect a free bag of kai.
It became clear quite early on that additional volunteer support was required for the community need. When the 2021 lockdown was announced, KiwiHarvest delivered a massive contactless delivery of fruit, vegetables, canned food, meat and snacks. Volunteers spent the day in the office sorting food, making up parcels and delivering these to households in Balclutha and surrounding areas.
An important part is talking to people who come in for food in case additional support is needed. They are often there just to be a listening ear while giving the gift of food.
This year 60-70 parcels have been distributed each KiwiHarvest day, and these are feeding 180 - 200 people from in the community. They’re finding life tough at the moment, with rents, mortgages, transport and food prices at record highs and are extremely grateful.
There are now local businesses and local gardeners who share their excess food on a regular basis and members of the community bring in reusable bags for us to use to distribute food. The service says the best outcome would be that, somewhere in the future, nobody needed this service.
Recreation and Leisure and Supreme Winner
Clutha Parks Trust
Council is proud to honour the Clutha Parks Trust for their efforts to be one of the first groups to partner with Council and step up to the challenge of re-designing a seven phase significant redevelopment of Naish Park and Centennial Grounds. This was signalled as a real community need in both the Our Place Balclutha Community Plan and the Balclutha Reserve Management Plan consultation process.
They have diligently volunteered to see the projects to fruition and as a group they feature a wide range of skill sets including landscaping, maintenance, project management and financial expertise.
Their ‘learn to ride’ junior bike park for toddlers and young children is now completed and is proving popular with the community, including STOP AND GIVEWAY signs to mimic a road. The dog park is near completion and is attracting people from without the district keen to give their dog exercise and a socialisation experience. Through working bees and community involvement, they have installed dog agility equipment, seating areas, rubbish bins, water drinking areas, new planting and the area is fully fence.
They have playground designs approved and hope to have this installed by Christmas. Of note, the group of volunteers have put in many hours to make improvements to the landscaping of the gardens with plantings and numerous working bees. Tidying up areas, replanting, reconstructing grass areas and revitalizing the gardens for people to enjoy. Plus a dedicated rose garden complete with a pergola to provide a lovely backdrop to the gardens.
Their next focus is on developing a pump track and they’re in the investigation stages of considering a half court.
Their submissions to Council for car parking improvements and installation of a bore to provide water for the duck pond were approved recently. In short, they’ve done great work.
2021 Award recipients
Lawrence Skate Park committee, Murray Harris and Marilyn Redditt were presented with Clutha District Council Community Awards for 2020 formally acknowledging their community service to the district.The Youth Community Spirit Award was awarded to Sophie Ruffell.
Gay Bloxham, Gloria McHutchon, Janet Noah, Joyce Beck, Kerry and Jeff Seymour were presented with Clutha District Council Community Awards for 2020 formally acknowledging their community service to the district.
The Youth Community Spirit Award was awarded to Annabelle Philps and Sydney Robertson.
Finlay Abernethy, Peter McPherson, Stu Michelle, Ila Ryan, Chris Shaw, Dawn Smith and Helen Keen were presented with Clutha District Council Community Awards for the 2019 year.
Winning recipients in each of the Community Group areas will receive $1,000 and the Supreme Winner of that group will receive an additional $2,000.
The recipient of the Youth Community Spirit Award will receive $750.
The awards are in three categories:
Individual awards: people can nominate an unsung hero in the Clutha community.
Youth Spirit Award: for a year 13 student who has greatly contributed to their school and community during their time as a student. Anyone can enter a student for a Youth Spirit Award (including the student themselves). The award is open to all Year 13 students, and multiple entries from the same school will be accepted.
Community Group Awards: For community groups that have achieved a special project in the past 12 months of benefit to our district under one of the following categories:
- Heritage & Environment - improve and revitalise the local environment, culture or heritage.
- Health & Wellbeing - to provide services that enhance the health and social wellbeing of people.
- Arts & Culture - enhance and increase participation in arts and creative leisure activities or improve community culture.
- Leisure & Recreation - increase participation and/or enjoyment in physical leisure activities and recreational pursuits or provide support to participants.
- Educational & Child/ Youth Development - improve and enhance the education of the community, or the educational or social development of children and youth.
The awards are presented annually at a formal ceremony.
For more information please contact Council on 0800 801 350.
The awards (previously the Trustpower Community Awards which were disestablished in 2018), have been picked up by the Clutha District Council and will continue as the Clutha District Community Service Awards.