*Blue Light Christchurch *
Empathetic. Passionate. Dedicated.
Big-hearted Bruce Ward knows he is making a difference in the lives of youth who have had a rough start.
A police Senior Constable, Bruce has spent the last 11 years working as a Youth Aid Officer.
He has also been a volunteer with Blue Light for 17 years, organising events for young people who have been abused or who are troubled by domestic violence.
His interventions include camps, mentoring, drug and alcohol courses and adventures like rock climbing.
“Over the years many participants have contacted me to tell me the difference Blue Light made in their life,” says Bruce.
He helps wherever he can. He made one family’s dream come true after he visited on a police matter and realised money issues meant no Christmas that year. He approached local businesses and arranged donations of toys and food to ensure Christmas came.
Last December, Bruce arranged an action-packed week away in Auckland for Muslim boys aged 12 to 17 who were grieving after the Christchurch mosque shootings nine months earlier.
He wanted them to get support while making some new, happy memories.
“This trip was a chance to build relationships with police and for us to give something special back,” says Bruce.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Blue Light Christchurch will use its grant to arrange additional camps, including one for the Muslim girls traumatised by the 2019 attack on their community.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here