Volunteering is a big commitment and to recognise the efforts of those who put their lives on the lines for others, Coastguard organises its Young Volunteer of the Year Award.
The annual award honours young volunteers and their work and gives the finalists access to Outward Bound – an outdoors challenge and adventure.
Bradley McKenzie from Coastguard Howick was last year’s winner and went on a 21-day Outward Bound course to further develop his skills and leadership.
“Outward Bound was an incredible experience,” he said. “It really helped shape my leadership style and gave me the push I needed to sit my Skippers exam. I’m extremely grateful that Coastguard supporters gave me the opportunity to go.”
This year, four volunteers have been shortlisted, and Kiwis are being asked to cast their vote on Coastguard’s website.
The youngest of the four is 21-year-old Kate Stewart – often a go-to person in her unit when volunteer crew want to further their knowledge. She has completed her Coastguard Instructor training and has given many hours of her time to improving her boating and Coastguard skills.
Conor Carr, a 25-year-old, joined Coastguard when he was just 18 and has worked to become a well-respected Rescue Vessel Skipper in his unit. Since joining, he has spent 1171 hours on rescue vessels and completed more than 275 Coastguard training courses and assessments.
Jamie Breeze, 31, is a crew manager and a qualified Coastguard instructor, who also runs his own business. He nearly doubled his unit’s 2019 fundraising and brought in more than a dozen new members.
The last finalist is Todd O’Connell, 26, who has been volunteering for Coastguard for more than five years. In a short amount of time, he is fast approaching senior crew level and has attended every Coastguard community event.
Coastguard is encouraging all Kiwis to take part in this year’s awards by casting their vote from their bubble.
Voting ends on 15 May 2020.
More information on the awards, the finalists, and how to vote is on coastguard.nz.