1000 SVA members to return to Red Zone

27 February 2020

The University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army (UC SVA) is returning to the Red Zone on Saturday 29 February for the fourth annual Big Give event in what will be the largest student volunteer presence in the area since the Christchurch earthquakes.

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    UC students volunteering at SVA’s Connect the Community event, New Brighton, in 2019.

The University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army (UC SVA) is returning to the Red Zone on Saturday 29 February for the fourth annual Big Give event in what will be the largest student volunteer presence in the area since the Christchurch earthquakes.

The Big Give has evolved into one of the highlights of the UC student calendar, with an estimated 4000hrs of volunteer work being carried out in a single day. This year volunteers will be spread across the Red Zone working with local community groups to develop key areas in the Red Zone.

“The Big Give allows us the opportunity to introduce UC students to volunteering, and to Christchurch. It’s extremely rewarding to spend a morning volunteering and leave an area better than we found it, and we’re so excited to be able to do so on such a large scale, this year in the Red Zone,” says UC SVA President Isabella Fanselow, who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons).

With the help of City Care and local community groups, students will be weeding and mulching around community spaces as well as building raised garden beds and helping to create a pump track around the site of a future adventure playground planned by students of Banks Ave Primary School.

After spending the morning volunteering, all event attendees receive a free BBQ lunch and will be treated to a performance by Christchurch band Castaway.

ABOUT THE SVA: Ten years on from the September 11th earthquake, the Student Volunteer Army is a national civic education charity focused on getting young people off the couch and into volunteering with more than 65,000 students of primary, secondary and tertiary level nationwide. The SVA at UC is the largest club on campus with more than 3000 annual members and in 2019 provided 4441 volunteering hours on 52 projects across Christchurch and the greater South Island.  

 

Outcomes from the SVA include the 'CHCH101' Strengthening Communities through Social Innovation course, led by Associate Professor Billy Osteen. Over seven years, 750 students from this course have contributed over 25,000 hours of service to more than 50 community organisations and government agencies. CHCH101 has attracted international students from Japan, Vanuatu, and the USA.

 

This year UC launched the Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership degree to build on this unique history of community engagement. UC also offers a Certificate in Youth and Community Leadership, available on campus, or by distance study for students studying from beyond Ōtautahi Christchurch and Aotearoa New Zealand.

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    University of Canterbury students volunteering at South New Brighton spit as part of the SVA’s annual Big Give event in 2019.

For further information please contact:

UC Communications team, media@canterbury.ac.nz, Ph: (03) 369 3631 or 027 503 0168