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About Community Guardians


When thousands of volunteers come together to get their hands dirty and plant trees for the community it's an amazing achievement, but how to keep that momentum going?

It's crucial that those efforts are sustained in the long run, and that's why Citycare Group is working with Sam Johnson and the Student Volunteer Army Foundation on a scheme to drive meaningful, sustained community impact across the country.

The Community Guardians scheme links thousands of community members nationwide to a safe operational delivery model (through Citycare) to ensure that local community volunteer projects are not just delivered, but sustained for years to come.

"We all do well when we look after our people. This means a country where everyone is earning, learning, caring or volunteering, because that’s the basis of strong communities."

Jacinda Ardern
Citycare Group Logo Stacked RGB Community Guardians Logo on White3 SVa

How to plant natives in a coastal zone

The Community Guardians scheme is all about mobilising and equipping our volunteers so they can contribute to community projects. And it's also about learning new skills that we can put to good use in our volunteering efforts, as well as at home.

In our video, Christchurch City Council Regional Park Ranger Jason Roberts demonstrates the best method of planting natives in old sand dunes, which is the typical NZ coastal environment.

First dig a hole! Then comes the magic. Check it out.

Join us as a volunteer

No-one can do everything. But everyone can do something.

Together we can make real impact in our communities.

Sign up today and start making a difference in your local community.


Community Guardians comprises two types of community volunteers:

Winner 2018 NZRA Outstanding Community Recreation Programme

A partnership between Citycare and the Student Volunteer Army (SVA), known as Community guardians was formed after the Christchurch earthquakes and is here to help with community clean-ups, planting, mulching and much more. The judges saw this as community engagement on a grand scale and were impressed by the scalability of the programme and how it could easily be adapted in communities throughout New Zealand. 

Banner artwork Outstanding Community Recreation Programme 2018 WINNER

Recent projects

We aim to simply enable and facilitate the safe delivery of more local community action projects nationwide and to better support the many true guardians of our community.

Student Volunteer Army

Community Guardians will also get children involved and help develop their understanding of volunteering and community

Community Guardians will build on the highly successful Student Volunteer Army Primary School Programme that in 2017 introduced specialised learning materials into 1000 classrooms nationally. The programme, which saw 32,000 Year 4 - Year 10 students learn how to organise and deliver a volunteer project in their local community, will be expanded in 2018 through Community Guardians.

News and views

Community Guardians: leading a nationwide shift in community engagement

When hundreds of volunteers come together to get their hands dirty and plant trees for the community it’s an amazing achievement, but what happens after that?

Read more
Blog Post