Four Franklin residents were among 59 New Zealanders honoured for their service to the community at the KiwiBank Local Hero awards held on Monday 4 December.
Christine Cowell, Valerie and John Robinson, and Leanne McMurtrie were all recognised for their commitment to the community through their various roles.
For eight years, Christine Cowell has been a volunteer with Victim Support, supporting many victims and families of fatal road crashes, domestic violence, aggravated robberies, sexual violence, suicides and homicides. She brings a wealth of experience to the Victim Support team and has a calm and sensible approach to her work. She has helped mentor new volunteers and assisted with fundraising.
Val and John Robinson were recognised for organising sporting events in the Franklin area for the past 25 years. The retired teachers organise events including swimming, touch rugby, netball and championship days for Primary School students, each year. They take the students all over the country, managing and organising the teams and encouraging them to do their very best.
Leanne McMurtrie has been leading the Bellyful Franklin Branch since November 2011. In her role over the past six years, Bellyful has delivered approximately 6000 meals to 1100 families with newborns or young children struggling with illness. Leanne also works full time as a teacher aide at Mauku School and has chaired the school’s PTA for three years, organising a number of events and fundraisers for the school.