Words and image by Esta Chaplin
Ange Mentzer is serious about fun.She is a mum of three daughters, the best snack provider, a fan of Olivia Rodrigo – and a community treasure.Her official role at the New Zealand Red Cross is Community Activator but she goes well beyond the job description.
Last Ange noticed ”there was no dedicated, regular youth voice” in the Red Cross. She set out to change that!
The Red Cross Youth Ambassadors was born!
With the Ambassadors, Ange established a group of Hastings teens who not only engage
with their community but have developed a passion for charitable work.
Over the last 12 months Ange has led the Ambassadors through many community-based activities including beach cleanups, National Red Cross Programmes Meals on Wheels and the Curtain Bank. The team has visited other regional Red Cross centres to gain an insight into the extent of the charity’s national importance.
While humanitarian work can be challenging at times, Ange also makes sure it’s an opportunity for the young volunteers to meet new friends and have a good old laugh.
Her enthusiastic, lighthearted leadership style has proved a real inspiration to the Youth Ambassador Team. Ange always ensures that the hard work is balanced with a lot of enjoyment through events such as an ‘amazing race’ through Hastings and outdoor meetings at Cornwall Park (McDonalds included).
It is rare you come across someone who is not only passionate about youth but also loads of fun. Ange’s authenticity makes her special. In the words of one of Olivia Rodrigo’s hits, we “hope you know how proud [we] are you were created”.
Do you want to join the Hastings Red Cross Youth Ambassadors?
Get in touch !