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.
Give an hour of your time to the local community on or before ANZAC Day through the Serve for New Zealand campaign. The campaign helps to further share the ideas of the RSA and Student Volunteer Army (SVA).
Serve for New Zealand was created as a gift to the RSA to commemorate their 100th birthday and as a way for Kiwis to celebrate the legacy of service. Serve for New Zealand: Anzac Day was run as a pilot project in 2016 and the inaugural event saw over 6,600 hours pledged.
Serve for New Zealand: Anzac Day is designed to encourage Kiwis to offer an hour of their time in their local communities on a day of national significance. Serve for New Zealand: Anzac Day 2017 aims to be even bigger and better, to create the greatest volunteering impact we can across the country.
Help create the greatest movement possible
You may be working on a current project you’ve organised, or why not create a new project and pledge to Serve for New Zealand Anzac Day. Think about what groups need help in your community – the local school, childcare centre, Plunket, the local park, etc. and go from there.
Encourage your volunteers to show they’ve supported you AND Serve for New Zealand, by pledging their time on the website.
If organising a project sounds too hard, simply go to the website and pledge an hour of your time to an already listed project – it’s that easy.
To learn more visit the website: or email email@example.com and like the Facebook page.
Serve for New Zealand: Anzac Day 2017 is a partnership between The UC Student Volunteer Army (SVA), the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association Inc. (RSA) and the University of Canterbury (UC) and is kindly supported by SEEK Volunteer.