Celebrating SVA over Student Volunteer Week

This week we’re celebrating our awesome volunteers for 2022 Student Volunteer Week. 

Throughout the week join us as past and present UC Student Volunteer Army (SVA) members share special moments from their time with SVA. 

Read Daniel’s story from Monday here
Read Isabella’s story from Tuesday here.

Alex Cheesebrough (2014-2016)

My name’s Alex and I was on the SVA committee from 2014-2016. Through that time, SVA went through a massive transition from being an earthquake recovery organisation to a general volunteering organisation.

When I first joined, I was surprised by how little infrastructure we had. We operated the committee out of rooms we’d book in the library and we used our personal vehicles and trailers to run volunteering events.

At the end of 2014 the club was in debt by about $5k with no permanent income source. It looked like without any sponsorship funding or grants, we would have to dissolve the organisation. Fortunately, UC and City Care stepped up and provided considerable funding that summer and UC provided us with the SVA office which is still used to organise events to this day.

Membership grew from ~1200 in 2014 to ~2400 in 2016 when we became the largest club on campus. Some of our friends at uni coded the first SVA app for an extremely modest fee (this was their first job and they are now a successful software business).

It was incredibly fun to work with some of the best teams I have been a part of to grow the organisation to a point where we were running an event every weekend of term time. The reason we did it was because we saw what a difference volunteering a little time could make to individuals.

Here’s a picture of me with Isabelle – that was my first SVA volunteering trip and the story got made into a children’s book. There are not many clubs in the world that make attaining that appreciation so accessible but SVA is certainly one of them. Please sign up and get volunteering!

To find out more about SVA or get involved with volunteering for yourself visit here.

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