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The fully funded Nelson YES programme provides you with a hands-on introduction to the work of the emergency services in the region. The programme designed for 16 – 20 year olds and runs from February until June each year. Get in touch now to register your interest for the next programme.

This programme is possible due to support of local Emergency Service Providers and funding from the Ministry of Youth Development.

The YES Programme consists of:

Phase One: Orientation (Late Feb-April), Full day Practical Sessions on Saturdays with each of emergency service at their base.

Phase Two: Volunteering, a two month volunteer opportunity (equivalent to approx. 2 hours/week) for you with one emergency service following completion of Phase One.

What to expect:

Some specific outcomes of the programme are to:

  • > better equip you to know how to look after yourself and your community in the event of an emergency
  • > to learn practical skills around helpful things you can do if you are first on the scene at an emergency
  • > inspire those that may become our emergency service members in the future and show the pathways to get involved
  • > other outcomes are more general like increasing confidence, fun, social connections, connection to community etc.

Emergency services exercises will often push you just outside your comfort zone as you try new things although there is no pressure to do any activities you don’t want to take part in. There is a programme support person there to help at all sessions. Each session will begin with some theory and involve practical hands on learning and exercises throughout the day.

Previous participants say

Thomas Nevin – “it’s good to get an insight into what the services do, before I had no clue”

Kat Huntly – “Joining Red Cross via the YES Programme gave me a sense of accomplishment and pride . It was a very rewarding and fun experience”


All safety gear including overalls, hard hats, gloves, caps and safety glasses are provided. Lunch and snacks will provided each day by Volunteer Nelson. You will need to make sure that you wear sturdy, closed toe shoes and bring a drink bottle. There is no cost to you for the programme.


The Saturday sessions will be held in a few different locations. For example: The Nelson Fire Station, The Coastguard Base at Wakefield Quay, Tahuna Beach. You will be given clear directions and map to get to each location. We can help if transport is an issue, just let us know. If you are coming from further afield, we can help towards the cost of travel.

Time commitment

During phase 1, Saturday sessions will usually run 9-3pm but start and finish times may vary for individual services.  For phase 2, there will then be the option to volunteer with one of the services during May and June. This usually involves attending weekly or monthly training sessions with other volunteers. Training days vary for each service.

To discuss the programme and find out more:

Please contact Holly Drummond – [email protected] 03 546 7681.

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