This year has absolutely flown by so far with the first semester gone already! The UC Student Volunteer Army has been up to some amazing work and in celebration of National Volunteer Week, we would like to share a recap of the year so far!
Clubs Day: For the first week of the uni year, we signed up over 1000 student volunteers at UC Clubs day. We gave out hundreds of our special edition ‘10 Years of Student Volunteer Army’ T-shirts and once again, SVA takes the title of largest club on campus!
Big Give: This year, we headed back to the Red Zone for the ten year anniversary of the Christchurch quakes. Although the day was postponed a week due to the Covid-19 Level 2 move, we managed to get around 400 volunteers out to the east side of Christchurch. Many community groups received our help and worked alongside us including Avon-Ōtākaro Forest Park group, Greening the Red Zone, Cultivate Christchurch and over 1000 volunteer hours were completed in the half day, including moving roughly three tonnes of rubble, digging out the base for a mushroom themed playground in the community gardens, and weeding the grounds for a community edible garden.
Platoons: So far, we have completed eight platoons events. Projects have catered for all skills with beach clean ups, gardening, foodbank service, and helping out at the NZ Ultimate Championships!! A big focus of all our projects this year has been to align with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our projects have covered a range of the SDGs including Zero Hunger, Life below Water, Life on Land, and Good Health and Well-being.
Nelson Camp: For our first camp of the year, we headed north to help in the Nelson communities. Again, events involved classic SVA planting and mulching, but this time we also branched out and helped setting up a second store. The proceeds of the store go to Habitat for Humanity, a charity that helps families into safe and healthy housing. Over the weekend, we planted over 3000 trees, built a walking track in the Richmond hills, and over 100 extra volunteer hours were completed at a 700-acre sanctuary for endangered species.
Canterbury Floods Response: A quick response was formed to help out with the Canterbury flooding, with volunteers from UC assigned to help in Geraldine, Glentunnel, Darfield and Dunsandel. Many of the projects were to help farmers and rural communities who helped us during the Christchurch earthquakes so this was an amazing experience to return the favour. The volunteering involved cleaning fences, moving furniture, and shoveling gravel with most of the projects involving over 6 hours of hard work. This single day effort was the beginning of multiple smaller projects in conjunction with the SVA Foundation and Lincoln SVA with projects still taking place across the region. If you wish to get involved, check out the SVA app where projects are posted weekly.
What’s to come? For the rest of the year, expect to see us bringing more volunteering opportunities with our weekly platoons projects, another camp coming up in term four and a special event in term three! To keep posted on about the upcoming events, make sure to download the SVA app and follow us on our socials: @uc_sva