Flood heroes win top award

Celebrating the Edgecumbe Volunteer Fire Brigade’s win in the National Community Awards in...
Celebrating the Edgecumbe Volunteer Fire Brigade’s win in the National Community Awards in Queenstown on Saturday are (from left) Linda Bonne, brigade members Bruce Knight and Tracey Lloyd and Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne. Photo: Supplied
The tireless work of Edgecumbe volunteer firefighters  in the wake of a major flood in the Whakatane town  a year ago was recognised when they were named  supreme winners in the Trustpower National Community Awards in Queenstown on Saturday.

Runner-up was the South Invercargill Urban Rejuvenation Charitable Trust, also known as South Alive, which is an urban rejuvenation and community development organisation.

Trustpower community and communications manager Emily Beaton said Edgecumbe Volunteer Fire Brigade representatives Bruce Knight and Tracey Lloyd made a "heart-felt’’ presentation about their community and their volunteers’ hard work.

"These everyday heroes show commitment, camaraderie and support, which are the key ingredients for a strong community," Ms Beaton said.

The volunteers provided round-the-clock support to their community after a breached stopbank caused widespread flooding of properties and forced the evacuation of the town’s entire population in April last year.

The awards recognised the work of 25 voluntary groups and organisations who  won their regional community awards.

Earlier in the day, all the groups gave eight-minute presentations on their activity or project.

The Edgecumbe brigade received $4000 in prize money and a $1000 voucher from community sector training provider Exult, while the runner-up received $2500.

The Kura Precious Ones Special Needs Support Group from Wairoa district received the Whetu Mataiata Award.

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