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Reaching further into its Community Guardians platform (a partnership between Citycare and Sam Johnson’s Student Volunteer Army Foundation), Citycare and the Sir Peter Blake Trust has completed a huge clean-up event in Auckland’s south, which was delivered by 1000+ Year 9 and 10 students from Auckland Grammar School as part of the celebration of the school’s 150th anniversary year.
Running across two days – Tuesday 27th and Wednesday 28th November – the volunteer event involved 10 busloads of schoolkids a day, accompanied by some teachers and parents, systematically de-littering designated areas along the 12km stretch of Puhinui stream, Harania and Lenore foreshore reserves, Otara Park and Otara Creek reserve.
Working with members of the Watercare and Auckland Council client teams, Citycare Water, Citycare Property and Citycare Civil teams were also involved in the event, as well as managing the safe interaction of the school volunteer teams with the local bushland and environment.
Citycare staff monitored all the access and egress points and delivered a safety brief to each eager team of schoolkids, ensuring they worked in pairs, marked (not removed) any sharp objects, kept hydrated etc during their four-hour (10am-2pm) volunteer experience. Citycare also removed all the waste and rubbish collected during the two days.
One of the busloads was also diverted to assist in a ‘working bee’ at a Food Hub and Community Garden initiative that has been established as a mini social enterprise by Healthy Families, a business unit of The Southern Initiative, operated in conjunction with Auckland Council. These students boxed fresh garden beds and plants, tidied up the area and undertook some light maintenance work, such as painting.
These students also got to spend time with Waikare Komene, a local man who is well-known in the area for a social enterprise he has established called the Roots Collective, a group of like-minded creative entrepreneurs who essentially bring to life the old adage that ‘one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure’. Waikare got the students working on designing items out of recycled material.
Citycare also worked with Kennards Hire on the establishment of a new Tool Library located at the Food Hub. Kennards Hire has committed to support this volunteer initiative with tools needed.
With a firm foundation in Education and Awareness, Citycare has worked hard over the last few years to move from a ‘spray and pray’ sponsorship relationship with a range of partners to a mature community action model that now consistently drives meaningful and positive, community-oriented change agendas.
Our aim is simply to enable and facilitate the safe delivery of more local community action projects nationwide and to better support the many true guardians of our community.
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More than 1,000 schools and 32,000 students throughout New Zealand have signed up to become community guardians, as part of an initiative that will turn classrooms into volunteer armies.
Community Guardians, the collaboration between Citycare Group and the Student Volunteer Army, was honoured at last week’s New Zealand Recreation Association (NZRA) Awards, being named ‘Outstanding Community Recreation Programme’.