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Nan Evans Award

Interested in Nominating?

Tairāwhiti Community Voice presents the Nan Evans Award for ‘Strength of Spirit and Dedicated Work for Your Community.’ 

Nominations open February 2023 for this special award that is intended to acknowledge voluntary dedication, teamwork, inspirational leadership or those with persistent determination to see our community sector thrive.

The recipient of the award is selected by the Tairāwhiti Community Voice Committee Members who will present it at the TCV Annual General Meeting, November 2023.

Terms and Conditions: 
Please note the following: 

  • Only financial members of our network can make nominations

  • The person nominated must do volunteer work which is done of one's own free will, unpaid, for the benefit of others. They can be in paid work as well, but must be considered to ‘go the extra mile,’ and contribute to the community above and beyond what is expected of their role.

  • If a group is nominated, one certificate is presented to the group. 

  • The award is given in the spirit of GISCOSS/TCV and has to stay within the organisation.

  • The award must be returned in time for the next years ceremony.

  • The TCV Committee Members will consider each nomination and vote for the Nan Evans Award winner. 

  • Please be aware that all information contained in your nomination may be used for publicity. 

  • The TCV Committee Member's decision will be final. 

All nominations will be acknowledged.
If you don’t receive an acknowledgement within seven days, please contact us. 
020 4190 0415 or

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This annual award, named in honour of Nan Evans who was the founding member of Tairawhiti Community Voice (formerly known as GISCOSS) and a great advocate of community development, is aimed to recognize leadership, voluntary involvement, generosity and/or efforts that help strengthen our community.

Nan Evans was a huge community person.

Founding member of GISCOSS (Now TCV) she was the chair, secretary and Treasurer. Prior to her passing, she was a remedial reader, helping children with reading difficulties. She would even spend her own money on books so the children had something to read.

After Nan Evans passed away, her husband Ray wanted to remember her in the way that she was a community person. To reflect on her life as a volunteer. So he decided to start the Nan Evans Award.

  • Judy Livingston was the first-ever recipient of the award in 2008.

  • Stewart Harries 2009 nominated by Kay Beck of St John. Volunteered for St John Ambulance every Tuesday night for 26 years. Calculated 14,224 hours of volunteering.

  • Shirley Robertson 2010 nominated by Alison Crawford for her work with Palliative Care. Click here for Gisborne Herald Article

  • Audrey Pratt 2011

  • Zillah Smith 2012 nominated by Hospice Tairawhiti. Click here for Gisborne Heard Article

  • Bargo Te Purei 2013 (Te Araroa) nominated by Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society

  • Nona Aston 2014 nominated by Gisborne East Coast Cancer Society

  • 2015 had no nominations

  • 2016 Flag the Bag Tairawhiti Team collected by Nicky Solomon nominated by Leslynne Jackson

  • 2017 Barbara and Wes Baillie nominated by Robyn Stuart-Kohn  Citizens Advice Bureau. Between them, Barbara and Wes have volunteered for 28 years at CAB. Both have served on the Board and held the position of Chairperson. We have dedicated many hours to ensure the smooth running of our information technology and has been on call for any IT emergencies. Both have committed many hours to the Bureau in those years.

  • 2018 Ray Stevenson nominated by St John. Ray has been involved in St John Gisborne for approx the last 58 years. Started working as a Cadet at the age of 11 years and volunteered his time to do duty on the sports grounds and other community events. He became voluntary telephonist at the age of 15 answering emergency calls and giving details to the ambulance crew. He then became an attendant on the Ambulance at the age of 21 and moved on to be a driver on the ambulance while still working his paid job as a mechanic. With the voluntary work that Ray had done he was put forward for a permanent position as an Ambulance Officer. While holding this position he still ran the Gisborne Brigade for the adults. He was the Station Manager for 2-3 years. While also being the Health and Safety Officer for some time which involved travelling away to meetings on a regular basis. Ray has been involved with the St John Area Committee for a number of years and gave talks to organisations to raise funds for St John. He was also a First Aid Tutor over his time. Ray retired from Full time Ambulance work after 34 years however he still serves on the area committee and is a casual rep for Telecare (St John Medical Alarms) and is still responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the St John Building in Gisborne. Ray was nominated to be a Member of the Order of St John which recognized the work of individuals and is a part of the New Zealand Royal Honours System. 



  • 2019 Betty Thompson nominated by Diane Larsen of Arohaina Centre. Betty has been volunteering at Arohaina Centre for 20 years and in that time she has become a important part of the centre, she is well loved and respected for the love and care she brings to the centre each week. She brings her home baking on the Tuesday she comes in, even if she is unable to make it she arrives with cakes to put in the freezer. Betty also helps prepare lunch meals each week. When Arohaina has special meals Betty supplies beautiful puddings, pavlovas. apple slice, chocolate gateau just to name a few.  Betty for all the 20 years was well supported by her late husband Dick and we wish to recognise him in this nomination. Dick and Betty would come every Thursday to collect our pig scraps and dispose of them for us. Come the summer months were they were also responsible for our trailer load of squash each year that we stored for Arohaina but we also distributed out in the community to our elderly living in there own homes.It is a blessing to have had these two wonderful people be part of Arohaina Centre and we hope to have Betty as a part of us for many more years to come.

  • 2020 Betty Stephen nominated by Jane Kibble, Volunteer Manager at Hospice Tairawhiti

For the last 12 years Betty has been coordinating as a volunteer the hospice songsters. This is no easy feat! I understand that before my time when numbers were dwindling Betty took up the challenge, promoted, encouraged, engaged and motivated people to join this amazing group and we now have a 50 strong group of volunteers. The hospice songsters under Bettys leadership are rostered to sing and entertain at our communities age care facilities and rest homes. Betty is a natural leader of people, very well organised, all inclusive, friendly and a huge asset to both myself as hospices volunteer manager and to hospice itself. Betty liaises with each facility, informs all the songsters through a bimonthly newsletter which she creates by herself of date and times, and general communication, information and positive messages. Betty sources music and lyrics to well loved songs, keeps records of attendance and generally keeps connected to everyone who takes part. Betty spent over 6months collating our new music books in alphabetical order ensuring each song had the music sheet for our pianist and had the chorus numbers correct and all adjustments were made. This was an incredibly time consuming chore but one that has enabled us to have fantastic songbooks for each of our songsters to use. Betty encourages and leads practice sessions for some of our dance and movement items. She is very well liked and respected by the songster team.

I truly believe that our songsters would not be in the amazingly happy and organised place that it is if it was not for Bettys hard work and love and devotion to this role and the people she leads. I am in awe of her work ethic, she is an inspiration and I am honored to nominate her for this prestigious award.

I am aware that prior to this role, Betty has been instrumental with 50 forwards, maintaining its newsletter ,organising trips, outings and events for senior people in our community.


The Hospice Songsters have been sharing their love of music and song with our communities, older and disabled people for over 25 years. The current songster team is over 50 strong in numbers and under the leadership of volunteer Betty Stephen, combine their love of music and people by taking it to our communities older people who live in the rest homes, age care facilities and dementia services.

Music can bring great joy, can evoke memory and good times.

The Songsters special style of entertainment is cleverly matched to the places they visit. Accompanied by a pianist, the songs are relevant, interactive and can include a few dances to encourage those listening to join in. Some songs are also sung in Te Reo and some connected to relevant times in history.

Their aim is to reach out and offer comfort, contact and companionship, laughter, joy, and place value, worth, a sense of wellbeing and social inclusiveness for our elderly and disabled community members. 

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2021 Recipients - Stroke Tairawhiti Volunteers for 10 years as of May 2021 – Caroline Callow, Sherryl Moroney, John Unverricht, Julie Stevenson

Tell us why you are nominating this person for the Nan Evans Award:
This group of dedicated people have given 100’s of hours of volunteer support in the last 10 years assisting in the delivery of the Stroke Rehab programmes in Tairawhiti.
Caroline (Manager/Co-ordinator) even though in a paid in her role has gone above and beyond her paid work hours to support clients where necessary. She is a great advocate for those in need and has a Holistic approach to clients and their families. By sourcing basic needs for a client to live comfortably, i.e. furniture, food parcels, organising ESOL classes if required.
Sherryl – general kitchen duties on the day. Giver of raffle donations and co-ordintor of raffles for Stroke Tairawhiti. Provides morning tea at various functions. Donates of her time etc to the wellbeing of the clients of Stroke Tairawhiti. Served on Executive Committee.
John – Helper at Thursday Stroke Exercise group. Assisting clients on and off the Bus facility ensuring their safety. With a teaching background supports clients one on one at Friday Communication Group to support their communications rehab/
Julie – Organiser of people serving morning tea at weekly exercise class. Helps with fundraising. Has provided morning tea on occasions at her own expense. Organiser of meal deliveries at the monthly Stroke Luncheon held at the Tata. Coordinator of the Young Stroke Group. Has served on Executive Committee.

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2022 Winner - Sunshine Service Gisborne.

Over these years there have been a huge number of dedicated volunteers who have willingly given up their time to help others,” said Sunshine Service chairman Barbara Clarke.

“The reality is that without the service many people would probably not leave their homes. They either have no family close by, have a disability, or they unaffordable cost of other transport precludes them from using it.

“Two if not three distinctive yellow vans can be seen around town Monday to Friday, picking up clients and taking them to appointments and a wide range of activities in the community, or perhaps taking someone to the supermarket.

“Sunshine Service is a not-for-profit charitable trust which is managed by a dedicated voluntary management team. There is only one paid employee, the co-ordinator, David Dewar, who is the voice on the end of the phone. He is also responsible for rostering volunteers and for coordinating the movements of the vans around the city.”

The service has 1420 clients on its database, and in the past 12 months the vans have collectively travelled 50,400 kilometres.

“The team of dedicated volunteers have given 5960 hours of their time,” Mrs Clarke said.

“Some time ago it was calculated that based on the minimum wage, the volunteers' team value would equate to around $160,000 a year. Given that the minimum wage has increased since then it will be higher now.

“Our volunteers mostly come to Sunshine as they retire so sometimes their stay can be short, if ill health gets in the way. Or they are at the stage of life that they like to travel a lot, especially in winter, just when the demand for Sunshine Services are at their peak. We need a large volunteer base, which is currently proving problematic.

“According to client feedback our teams are friendly and helpful, giving a highly specialised service to clients and for whom nothing is too much trouble.

“Because our volunteers are our workers, we do not ask that they have to do any fundraising, rather we rely on applying for grants, fares and any other donations or bequests that we may receive.

“Our volunteers don't seek recognition for what they do.

“I am in awe of Sunshine's dedicated team of drivers and assistants, both the current team and the many who have been involved over 40 years.

“They are all dedicated and absolutely committed to bringing rays of ‘sunshine' into the lives of many in the Gisborne community,” Mrs Clarke said.

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