Eastern Courier : November 3
18 EASTERN COURIER, NOVEMBER 3, 2010 NEWS Red Frogs leap into caring Good Samaritan: Jess Holdaway is passionate about helping youth through Red Frogs. Photo: NICOLA WILLIAMS By NICOLA WILLIAMS Red Frogs are guardian angels. The team of volunteers act as a safety net for youth at events where drink and drugs could lead to serious problems. Meadowlands resident Jess Holdaway is one of the team keeping tabs on the vulnerable at events like dance parties and raves. We look after the ones that get kicked out or the ones that can't even get in because they are too wasted,'' she says. We look after kids who are injured or who have lost their friends or their possessions or don't have a ride home. We are a safety net for those kids and even those adults who are too intoxicated and just don't know what to do.'' Red Frogs has been around for about a year after a group of young people from Mrs Hold- away's Mt Eden church caught wind of the Australian service. They have a massive team in Australia and we went over during schoolies week to see what it was like. We got so passionate about what we saw that we decided to get the ball rolling here.'' The week-long event on the Gold Coast for school leavers is notorious for binge-drinking parties. Red Frogs keep tabs on everyone and roam hostels to provide pancakes for the hungover. Mrs Holdaway says party organisers are always keen to have Red Frogs at their events. They are involved with uni- versity orientation weeks and hostel pub crawls. Red Frog hydration stations are set up at events to provide water and sweets. They are a watchful eye and a shoulder to cry on when things go wrong. We're not an authority fig- ure, we're more a trustworthy friend,'' she says. The 21-year-old church youth worker says she is surprised to see how often young people get ditched by their friends during the course of the night. She loves the work and the contribution the team makes, she says. It's really caring about our generation. People can just die from stupid mistakes if no one is there to help them which really breaks my heart. Like the Kings boy that died. If someone sat with him and helped him out he could be alive -- he could be a future prime minister or sportsman and it's all gone because of one night.'' The Red Frogs team would also like to offer their services to school after-balls. For me I see so much poten- tial in youth and I just care about them so much,'' Mrs Holdaway says. It's about safeguarding our generation.'' Shoplifting blitz Shoplifters take note: You're about to be blitzed. Officers from Counties Manukau's mobile police station are hitting three shopping centres in a six-week crackdown on the crime. They'll patrol South- mall, Westfield Manu- kau and Manukau SupaCentre as part of a shoplifting prevention blitz using high visi- bility policing'', senior sergeant Steve Greally says. Officers are taking a zero tolerance attitude towards anyone nabbed shoplifting. Shop owners and staff are also being encour- aged to go to the mobile unit if they have shoplifting problems, Mr Greally says. Music and moods study Mood researcher: Massey University's Setareh Mokhtari needs help in an upcoming study on how mood affects your outlook on life. By SARAH CODDINGTON Setareh Mokhtari is investigating the link between mood and percep- tion. The Massey University psy- chology researcher says feeling happy or sad not only affects the way we see the world but also the speed we process visual images. Ms Mokhtari is also interested in how moods affect the way we see people's facial expressions. At the Albany campus she tests people's responses to different facial features and moods after they listen to pieces of music. Ms Mokhtari tested 57 people after they listened to sad or happy music. Those who listened to sad music were slower in piecing together visual information than those who listened to cheerful tunes. The results were presented at a psychology conference in Mel- bourne. Ms Mokhtari needs more participantsfor a one-hour lab study where they will listen to mood music and carry out computer-based tasks. Email setareh.mokhtari.1@uni. massey.ac.nz or cognition.study@ yahoo.com if you are interested in taking part in the study.
November 5th 2010