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
‘Serve for NZ: Anzac Day’ was started by the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) in partnership with the Returned and Services’ Association (RSA) and the University of Canterbury.
The initiative was run as a pilot programme in 2016 and this year we are hoping to see massive increases in the number of New Zealanders who ‘pledge’ to Serve for NZ this Anzac Day.
The SVA will be running a volunteering event on Anzac Day, which is open to staff, students and all members of the public. The event is at Broad Park, North Beach and will involve a variety of volunteer projects including pruning, mulch spreading, clean up and planting.
Coffee and free pancake breakfast will be available from 8.30am onwards, with volunteering kicking off at 9am. The event will finish with a community bbq.
Find more information here.
Did you know that bike lights are compulsory at night or at times where visibility is low? That means in fog or even a rainy day too.
Thanks to the NZTA, here’s a list of compulsory items required on a bike.
- A red or yellow rear reflector that is visible from a distance of 100 metres when light shines on it.
- Good brakes on the front and back wheels (or, if the cycle was made before 1 January 1988, a good brake on the back wheel).
When cycling at night or when visibility is poor, cycles must have the following:
- One or more steady or flashing rear-facing red lights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres.
- One or two white or yellow headlights that can be seen at night from a distance of 100 metres. Only one of these headlights may flash.
- Pedal retro-reflectors on the forward and rearward facing surfaces of each pedal. If the cycle does not have these, you must wear reflective material.
Interested in knowing more? Check out the optional items here and don’t forget your helmet.
UC Sustainability has more tips on riding around campus