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SUPPORT SHOWCASE FOR SOLDIERS AT BURNHAM CAMP

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Canterbury District Support Advisor Eddie Bassett chats with young service personnel.

The RSA recently joined forces with other organisations in the community to explain what they can offer soldiers stationed at Burnham Camp. Held by the New Zealand Defence Force, the expo connected currently serving personnel with different support providers.

Mark Compain, RNZRSA Support Services Manager, attended along with Eddie Bassett, Canterbury District Support Advisor (DSA). Both agreed that the expo was a fantastic opportunity to showcase what RSA support really involved.

“The event helped show what we have on offer for service personnel and their dependents, including those currently serving today,” he says.

“It was also a chance to introduce our working relationships with groups such as Veterans’ Affairs and NO DUFF, and dispel any misconceptions about what it is we do – mainly, that only the older service community could benefit.

“That’s definitely not the case; the RSA supports all service personnel, regardless of their age or operational service, and we have options to suit them.”

Executive members of Templeton, Christchurch and Papanui RSAs were there to promote support on a local level. Templeton was represented by a currently serving NCO in the NZ Army, which Mark says helps “put a friendly young face to support work,” and an ex-service woman, who volunteered to taken on an RSA support services role. “We’re grateful for the efforts of these two individuals.”

Eddie, the DSA for the Canterbury region, was also due praise – the RSA’s invitation to attend the expo was due to his growing connections with those in both the support and service communities. He has encouraged many reluctant veterans to seek contact with the Pennington Returned Serviceman’s Trust, which supplies grants of up to $500 for veterans needing a break.

The expo was an example of successful cooperation and communication between RSAs and serving NZDF personnel. “We hope to see more RSAs taking these steps,” adds Mark.

“They’re encouraged to develop a model just like this.”

Click here for more information on RSA support.
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