Scarfie Army Kicks-off Another Day of Student Volunteering

Press Release – Otago Polytech

The Scarfie Army is back in full force for 2013, with a second cohort of Automotive Engineering students from Otago Polytechnic to service a fleet of community vehicles free of charge this Wednesday 29 May.Media release – Otago Polytechnic
For immediate release, Monday 27 May

Scarfie Army Kicks-off Another Day of Student Volunteering

The Scarfie Army is back in full force for 2013, with a second cohort of Automotive Engineering students from Otago Polytechnic to service a fleet of community vehicles free of charge this Wednesday 29 May.

Following on from a successful pilot last year, Scarfie Army is an Otago Polytechnic initiative which draws inspiration from the remarkable success of its Canterbury counterpart, the Student Volunteer Army.

“We want to continue to foster a sense of community-mindedness with our students,” says Project Leader, Terry Buckingham. “There is real value in the experience students gain as volunteers and now more than ever, students have a social conscience they want to put to good use.”

As part of the Free Car Clinic day, vehicles belonging to the Cancer Society, the Child Cancer Foundation, Canteen, Stop Violence Dunedin and many other community vehicles will be given a full complementary service on their vehicles. 32 Automotive Engineering students will carry out the work under the supervision of staff, and BNT Dunedin has generously donated the oil and filters for the servicing.

Otago Polytechnic Automotive Programme Manager Hamish Miller sees this initiative as mutually-beneficial.  “Charities which often lack money for maintaining vehicles can redirect their limited funds to other priorities and students gain real life work experience while engaging with and learning about local community projects.

“Also, employers often look at work experience when reviewing candidates for jobs. If they are able to see that our students have carried out a number of hours volunteering, then they are likely to view this positively,” says Mr. Miller. 

About 20 second-year Social Services students put their volunteering services to good use recently, completing various tasks for the North East Valley Project and their community garden.  “It was fantastic! Students helped by weeding, reupholstering furniture and beautifying the front garden that had been built by our Landscape Design students.  We all had a great day and everyone benefited,” says North East Valley Project Coordinator, Hung Lam.

The Polytechnic recently appointed Darlene Thomson as a part-time Scarfie Army Coordinator, with a series of projects planned for the second-half of 2013.

Media are warmly invited to attend the Free Car Clinic session:

Wednesday 29th May between 9:30am and 11:30am.
Otago Polytechnic Automotive Engineering Workshop, Room A212, A Block
Upper car park, Corner Forth and St David Streets, Dunedin

ENDS

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