Brave young Auckland woman fighting brain tumour wins outstanding achievement award

An Auckland woman living with a brain tumour has been recognised by the Government for dedicating her life to helping others.

This afternoon at a ceremony in Parliament, Eilish Wilkes received the Minister of Health Youth Volunteer Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The 20 year-old has spent the last 12 years volunteering for the Child Cancer Foundation, where she made and donated blankets to newly diagnosed families, and spoke publicly about her own experiences with cancer.

She also spent eight years delivering food to parents of kids at Starship Hospital in Auckland.

Miss Wilkes, who is now based in Taupo, was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour when she was two years-old, which has left her legally blind and living with stroke-like migraine attacks.

She also has chronic fatigue and pain.

"I'd say I'm a very determined person. I push myself very, very hard to achieve the things I want to achieve and I wont let anything get in my way," Eilish Wilkes told 1 News.

"Just seeing the difference it (volunteering) makes in others lives, I guess it just gives me a huge, huge boost of satisfaction," she says.

Her father, Pat Wilkes, was also runner up for the Long Service Volunteer Award for his work with the Cancer Foundation over 16 years.

He became a volunteer in 2001 when Eilish was diagnosed with cancer.

"Even when she was feeling a bit off colour I’d say 'oh look sweet heart stay home' and she'd say 'no I'm coming, I want to do this'."

Mr Wilkes says his daughter is absolutely driven to volunteer.

Wellington Hospitals Volunteer Service was the overall winner of the 2017 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says their 450 volunteers committed time, energy and enthusiasm to the tune of around 12,000 hours last year to support patients who are often going through a difficult time.

"Last year alone they greeted about 30,000 patients and visitors, took them to their appointments, provided nearly 5,500 hours of support in the Emergency Department and produced 9,000 garments for babies, children and older people staying in hospital."

This week is National Volunteer Week.

Eilish Wilkes received the Minister of Health Youth Volunteer award for outstanding achievement. Source: 1 NEWS



Video: Run-down house demolished to avoid collapse in Wellington wind

A dilapidated and earthquake-damaged house in Wellington has been torn down by a demolition crew today.

Bystanders watched on as an excavator punched holes in the 1920s property, swinging at walls and crunching the roof with impressive force.

The 82 Wallace Street house was found to be at risk of toppling over in strong winds or by a moderate quake, when engineers inspected it two weeks ago.

The property was put up for sale earlier this year and advertised as a "Dilapidated Californian Bungalow" with an RV of more than $500k.

The 1920s property was at risk of collapsing in strong winds or by a moderate quake. Source: 1 NEWS

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Claims Labour Party housed foreign students in 'sweatshop marae' to help with election campaign

The Labour Party is in damage control mode after claims that some international students it brought out to New Zealand for the election campaign were housed in poor living conditions at an Auckland marae.

Critics claim the 85 students were living in a "sweatshop marae" on Auckland's North Shore.

The Labour Party has apologised and says it will help pay for the students to go home early if they want.

The rest will be housed across the country and will continue to work on the Labour Party campaign.

The volunteer programme was set up by former Labour Chief of Staff Matt McCarten.

He says "the programme was extremely popular and quickly became oversubscribed. The scale of the programme is now greater than I can manage, and I am aware of issues that this has caused".

The Labour party head office has now taken over the running of the programme.

ACT leader David Seymour says "selling a marae as suitable accommodation for 85 workers is simply exploiting the ignorance of foreigners".

National's campaign manager Steven Joyce says "it is truly appalling behaviour both for its lack of human decency and industrial strength hypocrisy".

Source: 1 NEWS