Tackling bullies brings top award

Youth anti-cyberbullying group Sticks'n Stones has won the top accolade at the TrustPower Central Otago District Community Awards.

As the ''supreme winner'' at the ceremony last night, the group won $1500 and a trophy.

TrustPower community relations representative Emily Beaton said the Central Otago Reap-facilitated group was made up of student volunteers who had made it their mission to show their peers, parents and community that online behaviour was a part of real life.

''These volunteers are bringing cyber-bullying under the spotlight and encouraging people to think and talk about being positive online. By sharing information in a range of ways they are ensuring that it is accessible to everyone.''

The volunteers were making a huge difference to the Central Otago community and should be ''extremely'' proud of themselves for the work that they had done so far, Miss Beaton said.

The group will represent the district at the national awards in Wellington next March.

Twenty-nine groups entered the five award categories.

The Alexandra Men's Shed won the Heritage and Environment category.

Over the past year, the group had created an oak seat for the Community House, made wooden toys for use at the Otago Disability Support respite care house and made horse jumps for the local Riding for the Disabled committee. Runner-up was Roxburgh Group Teviot Prospects.

Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery received a commendation.

The Health and Wellbeing category was won by Central Otago St John Health Shuttle, operated by 24 first aid trained volunteers, who transport passengers every weekday from Cromwell to Dunedin and back for medical appointments.

The Cromwell Community Welfare Trust was runner-up.

The Arts and Culture category was won by LX Ukes, with Clyde Theatre Group runner up.

The LX Ukes are a group of volunteers who raised funds for a wide variety of worthy causes, raising $5000 to be donated to different groups including Westpac Rescue Helicopters, Motor Neuron Disease, Dunstan Hospital Scanner, Shelterbox, the RSA Welfare Fund, Adult Onset Diabetes Research, the Relay for Life and other causes.

Iceinline Central Incorporated won the Sport and Leisure category, with Alexandra Petanque Club runner-up.

The Iceinline outdoor ice rink facility, used for ice sports by clubs daily, is also available to the public at weekends.

The Education and Child/Youth Development category was won by Alexandra Childcare Centre, a community based, non-profit early education centre for under-5-year-olds.

The centre raised money to bring its building up to Ministry of Education standards. Runner-up was the Alexandra Parents Centre.

Alexandra Branch Society of Genealogists and the Alexandra Youth Forum received commendations.

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