A Marlborough boss who has helped boost confidence in thousands of students has been recognised for his dedication.
Ted Culley from Sanford Ltd has won the Graeme Dingle Foundation’s Outstanding Contribution from a Volunteer Award.
The long-term supporter, who was in Auckland to receive his award last week is a passionate community advocate.
“I have been involved in service clubs, school boards, hospice trust, wilding pines trust, and of course the Graeme Dingle Foundation.
“I started community service in the 1990s when I moved from the city to rural towns and had the desire to contribute back to the community.”
The General Manager Aquaculture for Sanford, won the award, given to the person who has contributed most to the Foundation’s aims of raising self-awareness and esteem among tamariki (young people). Sanford itself is also a long-term supporter of the Graeme Dingle Foundation.
His first exposure to the Foundation’s Kiwi Can programme came via Kaeo Primary School in the Far North.
“I saw the positive impact it had on kids.
“Then from 2002 I was based at Havelock and was keen to get the programme running at Havelock Primary School. This took some time for people to be convinced that it was needed.
“Sanford has been committed to this programme for over 20 years and it has been a team effort with support in regions right across NZ.
“When you see on a daily basis and first-hand the difference it makes to kids who have been through the programme, it is impossible not to become committed to it yourself,” he says.
Ted says that the award should be shared with others, and he is really representing the 250 sponsors who have supported him.
Earlier this year, Ted raised $30,000 through sponsors who supported him to undertake a 20,000ft skydive – which he lost 20kg to take part in.
“The programme has captured a number of my colleagues in Sanford to get involved in fundraising and mentoring which is great to see.
“Helping kids with life skills such as resilience and the ethics of ‘doing the right thing even when no one is looking’ is just gold.”