Community work recognised

by Mike Isle

A long-serving Rolleston social worker was awarded the Community Service Award at the recent 2018 Selwyn Awards.

Chris Allan says he is delighted to have won the award, but he says it came as a special surprise. 

“This year’s award nominations included some outstanding individuals and organisations doing great work in our communities — and that is what I think makes this award even more special to me,” he said.

Mr Allan is head of the Joshua Foundation, a community service organisation and member of the Canterbury Youth Worker Collective. He is described in his award nomination as “a humble yet very dedicated person who is totally focussed upon helping vulnerable and underprivileged young people in [the] community.”

Among other community activities, Mr Allan and the Joshua Foundation are facilitators of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Awards.

In addition, he works with special needs persons in and around Rolleston and is noted for his innovative work inside the region’s prisons.

The latter included organising New Zealand’s first marathon inside a prison. The event was at the Christchurch Men’s Youth Prison and raised $400 for Te Whare Hauora — the Christchurch women’s refuge in Aranui.

Mr Allan is acknowledged as a tireless worker by day for the Joshua Foundation. Nevertheless, most evenings and weekends he continues to work with young people and leads weekend tramps, including a recent one for Rolleston’s Waitaha Learning Centre, which featured as a lead story in The Record.

Mr Allan says he is humbled by the award but doesn’t consider it his alone.

“I feel this is something I can share with the communities I work with, the many dedicated people that support the Joshua Foundation and of course my family,” he said.