Student army promotes 'volunteering lifestyle'

SHELLEY ROBINSON
Last updated 10:02 15/06/2014
President Bridget Williams
STUDENT LEADER: Student Volunteer Army President Bridget Williams.

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Canterbury University's Student Volunteer Army which helped to clean up the city after earthquakes and floods will recognise its 1350 strong band of young people this week.

National Volunteer Week starts today and data shows that 40 - 49 year olds are volunteering the most - but the SVA is an exception to this rule.

The army has been at the side of residents since it was created after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

President Bridget Williams said, ''thousands of students shovelled the weight of the Empire State Building in silt in the days and weeks after the earthquakes.''

''This week is a time to thank our volunteers and remind all students that kindness can take different forms. It's not about volunteering every weekend but it is a chance for students to recognise that warm feeling of happily providing a selfless act."

Since the earthquakes the SVA has continued to work in the community every second weekend and hold Connect the Community, volunteering days, she said. 

Now the army was looking to inspire secondary school students by introducing a new programme.

''This is an opportunity for high school students to lead a community-engaged group of their own. Not only would this assist us with the service requests we receive but it would empower students through leadership and once again, cements a lifestyle of volunteering.''

''We want to promote selflessness and make it part of the student lifestyle, almost as if volunteering is in one's DNA . . .''' said Williams.

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- The Press

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