Category Archives: Helping the community

Amazing people doing great things locally, nationally and internationally and opportunities for students to volunteer and get involved with community projects.

SVA Port Hills Recovery Project Part 1

On Saturday 24 June the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) headed to the Port Hills to help the Summit Road Society with the recovery process from the February scrub fires. With a stellar view and perfect weather the volunteers planted hundreds of native trees.

Don’t worry if you missed out on the fun there’s a second day of planting planned for Saturday 1 July, see Facebook for details.

Written by Platoon Leader Jake Cryer


UC Bike gives new life to UC’s abandoned bikes

Earlier this year, in collaboration with UC Security and the UC Sustainability Office, UC Bike repaired, recycled and sold bikes that had been abandoned on campus. “The goal was recycling bikes and putting more people in the university community on bikes rather than making money off already cash strapped students”, Zac Porter from UC Bike explained.

In total UC Security donated 18 bikes that had been left unattended for between 1 and 3 years. Using the UC Sustainability Office’s Dr Bike tools, Olly, Zac, Ben and Brad repaired as many of these as they could. “Of these 18, we managed to get 14 running and gave them all a service, recycling what we could of the bikes that were too broken. We had quite a few franken-bikes by the end!” One of the bikes had been stolen and was re-united with its original owner.

The bikes were then sold to current and past students at a fraction of what they were worth. In total, UC Bike made over $1300, which will be spent on holding events such as Mechanics Nights to further benefit the cycling community at UC. “On Mechanics Nights we teach the basics of bike maintenance, such as how to tune a derailleur, fix flat tires, adjust brakes or anything else the attendees may want to learn.” The next one will be in Term Two with the date yet to be confirmed. Keep an eye out for the event notification on UC Bike’s Facebook page!

For this year all the recycled bikes have been sold but UC Bike plans to do this every year as an ongoing initiative.

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How service benefits us

The notion that service is “good” is so often bandied around but how does the act of service actually benefit us? From my personal experience with volunteering, particularly with the Student Volunteer Army (SVA), I have seen how service can bring different cultures, ages and social groups together on an equal platform to do something great, but the benefits reach far beyond this.  Service opens up connections between all those involved and helps to create a sense of belonging for those participants, something that is much needed in this rapidly expanding world. In my opinion, service is so valuable because of the way that it enables community members to interact with other members that they would not even cross paths with otherwise and creates social ties that engender stronger communities that are more resilient and powerful.

A perfect demonstration of this is the national event, Serve for New Zealand (SFNZ), which will take place this coming ANZAC Day. SFNZ was launched last year and is the SVA’s legacy project; something significant we can leave behind that embodies the values of our club. It is a day where we, in conjunction with the RSA, encourage New Zealanders to perform a few hours of service on this national holiday to recognize the achievements and sacrifices of our soldiers. It aims to bring people together by getting them out in the community. This year the SVA will be running a clean up project in the North Beach area to prepare a site for planting. We will be working with the Christchurch City Council Park Rangers and will be encouraging participation from all walks of life to join together and assist this part of the community. It is one example of how service can be so beneficial by creating and drawing on community connections and encouraging resilience.

Written by Kestrel Ritchie