By PHILIP CHANDLER
Red Cross has appointed its first ‘community activator’ for Queenstown Lakes.
The role, embracing both community outreach and welfare, and disaster preparedness, is being filled by Kurt Solomon, who’s been a Red Cross first- aid instructor.
Solomon, who’ll continue that part-time role, was last year, in the wake of Covid, a volunteer with Red Cross’ ‘visitor care’ programme.
That provided government-funded assistance to migrants who didn’t qualify for benefits.
Solomon says his new role is Red Cross’ recognition ‘‘there was a bit more of a need for extra community outreach and welfare support’’.
‘‘I’m still figuring out where Red Cross will fit in that welfare space, but a big part of that is linking people with the social services.’’
Solomon says part of the reason for his disaster preparedness role is the risk of the Alpine Fault rupturing.
This role will include making sure people know where their nearest civil defence centre is, and encouraging them to have a grab-bag ready in event of an emergency.
Next Wednesday, Red Cross is also holding a ‘Neighbours Day’ drop-in BBQ at Queenstown’s Happiness House from 12 till 4pm.
‘‘We’re just inviting members of the community to come along to connect, especially more isolated members, and to link them in with welfare services they might otherwise not know about,’’ Solomon says.