Former Berrigan resident Andrew Horne has received a prestigious Youth Meritorious Service Award.
Recognising service of special merit by Red Cross people aged 29 years or less, the 28 year-old was presented with the award at the NSW Australian Red Cross annual general meeting last month.
Mr Horne was specifically recognised for his exceptional service in pursuit of effective youth engagement at a NSW divisional level.
‘‘It’s humbling and it came as quite a surprise,’’ he said of the honour.
Mr Horne started volunteering for the Red Cross during the Victorian Black Saturday Bushfires in 2011.
‘‘Many fire crews from Finley, Jerilderie, Berrigan and Tocumwal went to Kinglake to assist.
‘‘I helped run the Berrigan street stall that raised money for those affected.
‘‘The Red Cross has strong fundamentals. It’s nice to know that people impacted by floods or bushfires have a shoulder to rest on when they’re going through troubling times.’’
Mr Horne has also been a highly committed and valued team member of the Save-A-Mate crew since 2014.
Save-A-Mate volunteers attend major music festivals and provide assistance for anyone who may have consumed too much alcohol or drugs, providing comfort and safety.
‘‘It’s very rewarding to be part of Save-A-Mate,’’ he said.
‘‘I think the reason I work closely with youth and they confide in me is because I’m close to their age.
‘‘Many troubled youths, particularly at festivals, would rather have comfort from a stranger than from their parents.’’
Mr Horne became a member of the Berrigan Red Cross branch in 2011. His mother Lyndall Horne is an active member.
He quickly rose to a governance role, being elected to the Divisional Advisory Board at the age of 24.
Mr Horne now resides in Wollongong. He is also a member of the Wollongong North Emergency Services.