Happy to be here - Richmond

This week we’re taking a trip to beautiful Richmond - south of Nelson in the South Island of New Zealand to be exact. Richmond is not only home to beautiful farms, orchards, vineyards, and delicious fruit and berries (we’re told it’s the place for berry-picking in the summer!), but a helpful and caring community too. Elanor from AMI Richmond is an active part of that community. As a New Zealand Red Cross volunteer, she is a driving mentor to former refugees and is currently working to help her mentee pass their full license by the end of November. We chat to her about how she got started volunteering for this great initiative, life in Richmond, and her best safety tip for driving.

Hi Elanor! What made you sign up to be a driving mentor and what does it involve?

New Zealand Red Cross put an ad in the local newspaper which I read and emailed to get some further information. I have always wanted to volunteer and I thought helping people to drive would a great thing. Your learner has their restricted license and you help with their driving between their driving test with a driving instructor. There is an “open road” car that you use to drive with your learner. You drive about twice a week with your learner. It talks about 3 months to complete and hopefully at the end they pass their driving test and get their full license.

What’s your role in AMI?

I'm a Customer Service Officer at AMI Richmond. I absolutely love helping our customers - we have lots of people coming into our branch so it’s nice to be face to face and be part of the community on Queen Street, Richmond.

Speaking of Richmond, what do you like about living there?

Well, we've got lovely weather in Richmond! I also like how friendly people are. We've got great shops and cafes. Not far from Richmond is Rabbit Island, a great beach to walk along and swim in the summertime.

How can Richmond locals sign up to be a driving mentor if they were interested?

Call 021 255 8550 or email

Richmond, I am Happy to Be Here!