“It was a fantastic end of volunteering for the term”, Pania Watson from Christchurch’s Haeata Community Campus said, of the efforts today at Delta Community Trust of her team of seven senior students took the helm to serve up the Trust’s weekly community lunch.

“They have certainly raised the bar”, Glenda Martin, Volunteering Canterbury’s Outreach and Marketing Manager, who has been working with the group this term, said.  “Not only did they get busy in the kitchen, two of the team also entertained with impressive singing before lunch was served”.

Term Three of the school year has, for this Haeata group, included the opportunity to get out in the community every week.  Not just looking and not just listening; actually doing something and being very much a part of the core volunteer teams who they have often worked alongside.  Limited time – the group have used their lunch break and one class period – and the necessary transport arrangements, have made it somewhat more challenging than other projects organised through Volunteering Canterbury’s Group Volunteering programme.  “I wanted to give them an overview of what volunteering really looks like in their community”, Martin said.  “There are of course a number of well-known charities doing great work in the city; getting the group into some of those perhaps not so well-known and giving them a taster of how varied volunteering really is, to keep the students’ interest up, was what I was looking for when putting together the projects.”

The reality has been that keeping the students’ interest up has not been an issue!  And it’s hoped, school programming allowing, that this can be built on in the last term of the year.  “Statistics tell us that getting young people involved in volunteering sets them up to continue to give back to their communities” Martin said.  The experience itself though of stepping up to give back has been evident on the students’ faces wherever they have been over the term.  Whether it was clearing a site in the city centre with Gap Filler, folding and measuring up curtains at the Curtain Bank, or clearing and cleaning shelves at the Bromley Community Centre, everyone has been 100% focussed on the job at hand.  “All the hosting organisations have said they would welcome the students back – a testament to both Haeata Community Campus and their students” Martin said.


For more information on how your group can get involved in the community, contact Glenda Martin, Outreach and Marketing Manager, Volunteering Canterbury  ph: 366-2442; outreach@volcan.org.nz


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