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Strong winds failed to deter the Student Volunteer Army

Strong winds failed to deter the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) from helping Christchurch get back on its feet.

Organisers behind the Student Volunteer Army (SVA) were planning to call off Battalion work today due to health concerns posed by the blustery nor’ west winds whipping up dust in the summer heat – despite this hundreds of committed students refused to stop work.

SVA field team leader, Sam Johnson says we gave them the option of taking the day off because we knew the wind would cause dust storms. “600 wanted to continue working and went out in crews of four each to various parts of the city to dig silt.

“The dust caked around our facemasks and got into the back of our throats but we continued working. It was hard yakka,” he said. “Tomorrow we’ll start at 11am and return at 4pm for a concert in the UCSA carpark as a way of saying thank you.”

We'll also be sending out 250 young people from local youth groups who'll deliver baked goods to a New Brighton resthome.

In the second part of our work more than 238 Squadrons, made up of three to five people who have their own transport and equipment, were assigned jobs registered on SVA website, www.sva.org.nz.

Please find attached a visual of the job locations. SVA IT head Jonas Bergler, says “to date 2643 jobs have been registered and we’ve completed 1060 of them with a further 200 underway. I’m really proud of my team for keeping up with demand and tomorrow well make a bigger dent in the numbers as the Federated Farmers crew will also help.”

The third operation, Street Team, provides face-to-face information to eastern suburb residents who are still without services and have almost no communication with the outside world. SVA head quarter’s team leader, Louis Brown, says we are now delivering pamphlets on behalf of a number of organisations:

•MSD - today 170 troops delivered 80,000 informative fliers to residents in Burwood, Parklands, Richmond, Shirley, Mairehau, Waltham, Opawa and Woolston
•CDHB - 30,000 fliers were handed out at all City Care water tanker stations – of which there are more than 100.
•Ngai Tahu - Pamphlets specific to Ngai Tahu iwi whanau were delivered to homes on the Ngai Tahu database .
•Child and Family Psychology Centre - Pamphlets to over 100 doctor’s surgeries and pharmacies across the city. To date 232,000 information pamphlets have been delivered across the city.

Volunteers wanting to take part in the Army do not have to be students, but do need to have some identification. Daily muster for the Student Volunteer Army is at the UCSA car park, 90 Ilam Road from 8:30am. People of all ages and abilities, including those unable to wield a shovel, will be welcomed with open arms.


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