Panel Info
Unique IDSU0207
Application Details
Entrant Club(s):UC Student Volunteer Army
Entry completed by:Sophie Clarke
Club Role:Secretary
Email:Email hidden; Javascript is required.
Category SelectionReminder that events and initiatives must have occurred in the eligible period: 7 September 2020 to 12 September 2021
Which category is this nomination for?Best Community Event or Initiative 2021
Name of event or initiative:SVA Canterbury Flooding Response
Brief overview of the event or initiative:

The UC SVA community mobilised for a clean-up response for residents of Canterbury affected by the May flooding. Our volunteers spent up to 8 hours clear debris, and restoring campgrounds, farms, and properties, from Glentunnel to as south as Geraldine.

What were the aims of the event or initiative?

We aimed to bring communities together to help vulnerable people have their lives returned to normal. We felt it was important to return the favour to the Farmy army who helped in the city after the earthquakes. Many farms and properties had rivers running off course, and debris scattered across the land. Having large groups restoring the land was invaluable. In a time where people felt helpless in the situation, we hoped to give residents and students hope - that when you pull together you can make a difference.

How did you make it happen?

We had many groups who made our response possible. NZ Gifts of Love and Strength, Bunnings Trade New Zealand, Eagle protect, Hyundai NZ and Growers Direct Market gave donations, from gumboots to care packages. The University of Canterbury provided support with their van fleet. We were also lucky enough to have the Christchurch Tramping Club join us. Finally the SVA foundation helped with contacts, liaising with Civil Defence, Federated Farmers and the Rural Support Trust to find out where help was needed. The residents were also supportive, providing volunteers with the fuel to get through a hard day of mahi.

How did you make it better?

To maximise our impact we expanded our operations to bring in more than just UC Students. For example members of the Christchurch tramping club joined us. Having students work together with these people only improved the experience for both parties. Many groups we were helping showed their appreciation by supplying food for the volunteers, so people were well fed and happy so we could get more work done. We made sure the times were accessible, waiting until the weekend when students were most available. We also did smaller projects in the following week, to continue showing our community support.

How did you show your commitment to sustainability?

Creating a centralised response for students and providing transport meant less vehicles had to travel to the areas. While we couldn't help using petrol for travel, we had to weight this up with "social sustainability". Having a community that looks out for each other and can be there when they need. Building whakawhanaunga is very important for our club. We also made sure to choose projects that had the biggest impact, and many of these were environmental. Clearing debris that would have otherwise got into water bodies prevented impact on the biodiversity of the areas.

Please upload any supporting evidence: