INDEPENDENT NEWS

Southern students lend Christchurch a hand

Published: Sun 6 Mar 2011 08:56 PM
Reinforcements from the South Island’s southern cities stepped into the breech while Canterbury students took a well earned break over the weekend.
On Saturday a bus load of Selwyn College, Otago University, students from Dunedin joined Street Teams delivering pamphlets to Christchurch’s eastern suburbs. The fliers gave residents notice of a series of Christchurch City Council organised public meetings. The Dunedin students then picked up shovels and helped residents in Bexley clear silt.
Today students from Invercargill, led by Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt joined Street Teams. The students and Mayor Tim worked in conjunction with Vodafone and the Maori Recovery Network. They braved cold and wet conditions to deliver free handsets, vodem sticks, car chargers, free credit, hoodies and scarves to some Aranui residents who’re still without power. The Invercargill convoy then began its ten hour drive home.
Vodafone South Island general manager Graham Mearns says tomorrow more free communication devices and credit will be delivered to Aranui residents who’re still without essential services.
SVA Field Team leader Sam Johnson says it’s inspiring students from Dunedin and Invercargill gave up their weekend to drive to Christchurch to do their part.
Squadrons will again be deployed tomorrow in a bid to complete jobs lodged with the 0508 STUDENT call centre.
SVA Head Quarter’s team leader, Louis Brown, says it’s likely a Battalion of volunteers will be deployed to the Avonloop area of the Central Business District to help local residents with the cleanup. However the deployment is conditional on Civil Defence reducing the cordon, and that decision will not be made until tomorrow.
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 is at 10am. People of all ages and abilities, including those unable to wield a shovel, will be welcomed with open arms.

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