Posted on 07 September 2023
- 2 Minutes to read
Greymouth and Westport branches of NBS have demonstrated their commitment to community safety by investing $2,500 each towards the purchase of 8 new bikes for the West Coast Schools Bike Safety Programme. The initiative, aimed at educating children about bike safety, is run by the West Coast Police and has been a cornerstone of road safety education for West Coast students since 2000.
In addition to the branch contributions, NBS Head Office has further bolstered the programme by purchasing 30 helmets, representing an additional investment of $700. These helmets will ensure that participating children have the necessary safety gear during bike safety lessons.
The West Coast Schools Bike Safety Programme, managed by West Coast Police School Community Officers, has a multi-faceted approach. The programme aims to increase students' awareness of road rules and safety gear, build their confidence in navigating roads on bikes, and impart basic bike maintenance skills. Through these lessons, students not only gain valuable road safety knowledge but also have the opportunity to interact with the police officers, fostering positive relationships between law enforcement and the tamariki.
Since its inception, the programme has benefitted thousands of West Coast children aged 7 to 12. Covering the entire West Coast region, the programme has become an integral part of the community, receiving regular requests from school staff to continue its impactful teachings.
The programme's mobile trailer, which carries the bikes and equipment to and from the schools, is a recognisable fixture on the West Coast. Greymouth School Community Officers Paul Gurney and Terri Middleton operate the tandem covered trailer that accommodates the bikes along with helmets and associated gear.
Last year, the trailer underwent a comprehensive renovation, thanks to the support of long-term partner Fulton Hogan. The trailer, which travels between Haast and Karamea, regularly covers a distance equivalent to that between Wellington and Auckland.
Senior Constable Terri Middleton says of the support from the two locally based organisations,
We are so thankful for the support from NBS and Fulton Hogan. The funding allows us to continue providing this vital programme to local tamariki.” She continues, “Having been involved in the running of this programme for many years, I have witnessed its lasting effects. Adults often approach me and reminisce about their experiences with us and how the skills learned during those sessions have influenced their current driving practices.”
NBS is proud to support the West Coast Schools Bike Safety Programme, recognising its significance in fostering road safety awareness and positive community relationships among West Coast students. Howie Timms, NBS General Manager, Commercial says that the “investments made by NBS branches and Head Office reflect NBS’ commitment to enhancing the well-being and safety of the local youth.”
Photo: Greymouth Star