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1000 SVA Members To Return To Red Zone

The University of Canterbury Student Volunteer Army (UC SVA) is returning to the Red Zone on Saturday 29th February for the fourth annual Big Give event in what will be the largest student volunteer presence in the area since the Christchurch earthquakes.

The Big Give has evolved into one of the highlights of the UC student calendar, with an estimated 4000hrs of volunteer work being carried out in a single day. This year volunteers will be spread across the Red Zone working with local community groups to develop key areas in the Red Zone.

“The Big Give allows us the opportunity to introduce UC students to volunteering, and to Christchurch. It’s extremely rewarding to spend a morning volunteering and leave an area better than we found it, and we’re so excited to be able to do so on such a large scale, this year in the Red Zone,” says UC SVA President Isabella Fanselow, who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons).

With the help of Citycare and local community groups, students will be weeding and mulching around community spaces as well as building raised garden beds and helping to create a bike track around the site of a future adventure playground planned by students of Banks Ave Primary School.

After spending the morning volunteering, all event attendees receive a free BBQ lunch and will be treated to a performance by Christchurch band Castaway.


Ten years on from the September 2010 earthquake, the Student Volunteer Army is a national civic education charity focused on getting young people off the couch and into volunteering with more than 65,000 students of primary, secondary and tertiary level nationwide. The SVA at UC is the largest club on campus with more than 3000 annual members and in 2019 provided 4441 volunteering hours on 52 projects across Christchurch and the greater South Island.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Hub space (Kerrs Reach), Ascot Park - Students will be clearing weeds from around a pond, East x East (corner of Brooker Ave and Norcross Street) - Students will be assembling planter boxes, painting, weeding and mulching.

WHEN: Saturday 29th February, 9:00am-2:00pm, volunteering approx. 9am-12:30pm, lunch and concert 12:30pm-1:30pm

WHERE: Projects will be spread across the Red Zone, the hub space (where lunch and the concert will take place) is at Kerrs Reach, Kerrs Road, Wainoni, Christchurch 8061.

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