Wellington Group Nomination for NZRDA Young Volunteer of the Year 2014
How do you write a nomination without including all the usual clichés: 'dedicated,' 'committed,' 'professional,' etc, etc? While this person is that, so are the majority of our volunteers, so I will focus on what is it that makes Emma stand out, what puts her that little bit above our other amazing volunteers.
I think it is Emma's heart, which is somewhat ironic considering as she was born with a dodgy one and is a heart baby complete with scars! Or maybe that is why she has such compassion and empathy for our riders and treats everyone with such generosity and care. Her riders love working with her and she is supportive without being overbearing and knows how far to push them offering encouragement and support beyond her years.
Emma's fellow volunteers enjoy working with her and her company. Her baking is outstanding and many a vollie eagely awaits the Chapman contribution to shared lunch! Nothing ordinary for us on these days! She gets major grief on her immaculately packed and segmented lunchbox and she takes it all in good spirits!
She actively is engaged in, and promotes the RDA community. She would literally give you the gumboots off her feet and go barefoot if she felt your need was for the greater good. She never asks for anything in return and it is rare for her not to religiously be at RDA on her day. Emma started with us as a shy fresh faced school girl. While keen to learn she was self conscious and lacked confidence. She quietly followed you around soaking it all up like a sponge. Sometimes if you turned to quick you fell over her!
Over the 5 and 1/2 years she has been with WRDA, she has turned into a super confident and oh so not quiet young lady – sometimes we wish for the old days! Emma is skilled at leading, sidewalking and any other task we ask of her. She is always there to get the job done and is often the last man standing helping with all those jobs well after everyone else has left. No job is too big or too small and Emma has a good handle on what needs to be done and will ensure it is done by her or someone else without being bossy or condescending. Emma participates fully in the days ride and actively participates and contributes to debrief with clear thought through observations and thoughts for the next ride. She listens and learns.
I see Emma as a key part of Wellington RDAs future. She is so keen to learn and has such faith in riding therapy that she can only be an asset to us both now and going forward.
Donna Kennedy - President, Wellington Riding for the Disabled.