UC students aiding people in the eastern suburbs

26 March 2015

More than 100 first year University of Canterbury geography students have been out on the streets in the eastern suburb of Burwood in Christchurch helping the local community.

UC students aiding people in the eastern suburbs

From left to right: Students Izzy Grant, Dan Hunter, Jacob Uden and Jamie Pearson

More than 100 first year University of Canterbury geography students have been out on the streets of the eastern suburb of Burwood in Christchurch helping the local community understand more about how they are progressing following the earthquakes.

Professor Simon Kingham of the university’s Department of Geography says students have been surveying householders. The door to door survey will help leaders advocate for their community which has seen a population drop in the area because of the red zone affect.

“This is a great opportunity for the university to engage with the local community in a meaningful way and for students to learn in a real world setting. The university is committed to working with communities. We have been doing this type of work for 10 years.

“Students learn more if they work with people. Burwood is a good community to work with. The community wants to understand more about what it is like to live in Burwood right now.

“People are especially interested in the assets in their neighbourhood, including the skills, knowledge and resources of local people and groups. Our survey, designed in partnership with staff and students, is exploring these issues.”

“The results and information from the survey will be used to inform decisions about Burwood, while an online map will be created that identifies the key assets of Burwood as identified by local residents. In addition, students will analyse and interpret the data as part of a major assignment in the course.

“Community leaders want to know more about the needs of their community. Our students have previously surveyed in Parklands, Avondale. Burwood was badly affected by the earthquake. Much of it is now in the red zone. The information our students collect will help feed into the recovery process.

“We are asking them about their well-being and local connections. We are asking them about how they feel living in a community badly affected by the quakes. We want to know what they are doing and what services or facilities they use most in the community.

Geography students are working with other organisations and communities in Christchurch including the Christchurch City Council, Burwood Hospital, Barnados and the Peterborough inner CBD area.

For further information please contact:
Kip Brook
Media Consultant
Student Services and Communications 
University of Canterbury
Ph: (03) 364 3325
Mobile: 027 5030 168
kip.brook@canterbury.ac.nz

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