Lorraine Tomlinson has come to know Napier very well.
She is a member of the Napier Community Patrol. Like the other trained volunteers, she completes at least one four-hour shift a month, driving the city’s streets in one of the patrol’s distinctive “meerkat cars”.
Most people love to see them out and about. The extra “eyes and ears” are appreciated by Police too, she adds. “We received a thank you letter from them just the other day.”
As a member of the patrol’s management committee, Lorraine also helps out with the organisation’s day to day running. Along with fellow volunteer Bev Baker, she collates data that shows the patrol’s presence helps reduce the risk of crime.
Many of the current 160 patrollers are retired. Some are tradies, some are building different experiences in the lead up to applying to become a police offer.
Lorraine has a simple reason for joining the patrol. “It just appealed to me.”
She also volunteers as a city ambassador. When cruise ships are in port, these cheerful volunteers can be seen in the CBD, greeting and assisting tourists, offering advice on where to find a café or a public toilet, or directions in general.
The patrol is one of several organisations which Napier City Council helps fund. The others include Neighbourhood Support and Surf Lifesaving New Zealand.
Volunteers can also be found at Council facilities, the Faraday Museum of Technology, MTG Hawke’s Bay, and the National Aquarium of New Zealand.
Council celebrates the outstanding service of volunteers every year in the Napier Civic Awards.
December 5 is International Volunteer Day, another opportunity to show appreciation for those unpaid people – more than a million Kiwis alone each year - who give their time to help others.
Image caption: From left, Napier Community Patrol volunteers Bev Baker, and Lorraine Tomlinson, at the wheel.
5 December 2022
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