On 11 September our Healesville SES unit had an opportunity to help our community in a most enjoyable way.
Our local Auskick group had to cancel their awards ceremony due to Covid restrictions which was a great disappointment for the kids. Matt Hart, Healesville Auskick’s organiser, was instructed to send out the medals by mail.
However, Matt wanted to do something special and had an idea, thinking that “kids love sirens” he asked around the emergency services and we jumped at the opportunity.
Our members, Unit Controller Andrew Worley, Louise Andrews, Paul Saleeba, Simone Thomas and Michelle Zwagerman volunteered to deliver the medals, certificates and lollies in an innovative Covid safe way.
We used our traffic control paddles to both hand out the prizes and also as a target for the hand-ball competition with gold coin donations going to the SES.
The whole event was organised in collusion with the kid’s parents so that each child was surprised to see the SES Rescue truck arrive at their door with lights flashing and a blast of our siren.
With big eyes and even bigger smiles the kids received their medals, practiced their handballs and posed for photos. Our first Auskick winners were still in pajamas but later in the day kids were wearing their favourite footy team colours.
It took us all day, driving over 140kms to visit 40 homes and hand out 50 medals but it was very rewarding to put the smiles on all those little faces during those lockdown days.
We received feedback via Facebook that the kids wore their medals all day (some even sleeping with it) and that they were excited to be visited by SES. We were touched to read Matt’s post on the Healesville Auskick’s Facebook page:
“Wow what an amazing day!!! So many happy snaps. I hope all enjoyed and got some great photos!!! Thanks to all that donated much appreciated. And to the SES Healesville Unit thank you so much for a massive day… Thank you again to all involved for an up and down season, hope to see you all next year. And again a massive thank you to Louise my contact and Andrew and team from the SES for an amazing job today and photos.”
Speaking to Matt afterwards, he said that everyone commented how good it was, people were impressed with the way it was done and seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces.
Healesville SES has been invited to attend next year’s presentation and we look forward to seeing everyone together this time.