Tag Archives: volunteering

Dr Jane Goodall on her way here

Dr Jane Goodall DBE, world-renowned ethologist, humanitarian, conservationist and UN Messenger of Peace is coming to Aotearoa New Zealand on her Tomorrow and Beyond tour in June.

The Jane Goodall Institute New Zealand, along with the University of Canterbury, the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) and Sumner School will be hosting a special Roots & Shoots event on 30 June.

Dr Goodall will speak to students about Roots & Shoots and how the programme is creating change all over the world. Students will also present the Roots & Shoots projects that they have been undertaking.

Dr Goodall will also meet with the SVA and discuss volunteerism and the work SVA groups and participants in the UCan Programme have been achieving.

Read more>

Get involved in Serve for New Zealand

Serve for New Zealand: Anzac Day 2017 is encouraging everyone to give an hour of time to their local communities on (or before) Anzac Day in 2017, to further the shared ideals of the RSA and the University of Canterbury’s Student Volunteer Army.

ServeForNZ_Logo_2017-01-1Serve 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 everyday 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 have a current project you have organised or you could 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.

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 existing project already listed – it’s that easy.

Serve4NZfacebook-coverTo learn more visit the website: or email hello@servefor.nz 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.

Students pitch in to help Christchurch community

An area of wetland damaged by fire in 2014 was restored to its former glory with help from secondary school students and the University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army (SVA). In 2014, vandals drove a car into Halswell Quarry destroying an area of native planting before setting fire to a section of boardwalk.

Recently, students from 10 Christchurch secondary schools, alongside the UC SVA, took on the restoration project as part of the SVA’s UCan volunteer programme and, in the space of a few hours, transformed the wetland area. The UCan programme encourages local secondary students to become leaders in their communities through volunteering, while being mentored by SVA members.

Student Volunteer Army (SVA) together with High School students from around Christchurch complete a project at Halswell Quarry Park.

Despite a rainy day, around 35 Year 12 and 13 students arrived eager to get to work. One crew set about rebuilding the damaged boardwalk, another group cleared the area around young native plantings and another used bark mulch to restore the pathway.

Christchurch City Council park rangers Nigel Morritt and Robbie Hewson worked alongside the volunteers.

“It was an amazing effort. In the space of a few hours the volunteers transformed the area. With the boardwalk repaired, track mulched and native plants released, all traces of the fire were gone. The students were full of energy and enthusiasm for the project and were a credit to their schools and the organisation, ” Nigel Morritt says.Student Volunteer Army (SVA) together with High School students from around Christchurch complete a project at Halswell Quarry Park.Student Volunteer Army (SVA) together with High School students from around Christchurch complete a project at Halswell Quarry Park.

Beautiful makeover of UC Community Gardens

The Okeover Garden (off Engineering road), one of UC’s Community Gardens, has been transformed over the last months as part of Project ReScape. If you have not visited recently, it is worth having a look during a sunny lunch break.IMG_1615

The new planter boxes are now showing the beautiful design, which blends the simplicity of straight edges with the unique character of the mandala. Jane Aistrope, UC’s Community Gardener, reports that the newly raised beds, which have  solid edges to rest on, are enjoyed by the gardeners as they do not have to bend down all the time! With lovely rich compost amendments (UC’s own leaf mulch, rotted wood chip and soil), the plants have made good growth and are cropping well. Despite the interruption of the makeover, the gardens increased their vegetable production again in 2015.


2016 will be a year of continuing and finishing this project as we work on the orchard glade, a wheelchair accessible planter box, an outdoor kitchen and re-cladding the tool shed. Come and be part of the action whether you’re new to gardening, have green thumbs or are handy with tools. Friday afternoon working bees (1-4 pm during term time) can be as relaxing or energetic as you choose, but good people and fresh produce are guaranteed.

For other information about the community gardens, check here. The community gardens also have a dedicated Facebook Page. The community gardens are coordinated by the UC Sustainability Office.

Applications now open for 21 Day Challenge

Applications are now open for the 21 Day Challenge 2016.

This is a wonderful opportunity for students from any discipline who are third year or above.

The Challenge involves successful applicants being put into teams of five who then have to work together over 21 days to come up with a solution to a given problem for a community in Niue.

The teams will be judged and the winners sent to Niue for an all-expenses-paid trip to implement their idea.

Applications  close on the 22nd of April at 12pm. Please encourage your students to apply, they just need to go to our website for more information and to apply www.uce.canterbury.ac.nz/21-day-challenge