Student Volunteer Army Service Award newsletter

October 4, 2021

Kia ora e te whānau!

Congratulations on surviving online school, and for those in Tāmaki still at home, hang in there. The SVA team have been busy operating an online grocery service in response to COVID-19 with your support, and now we want to learn all the kinds of volunteering you’ve done in the past three months.

Did you look after a sibling that allowed your parents to have a meeting? Did you do shopping for a neighbour or vulnerable person? Did you do some virtual homework tutoring? Did you support someone having a rough time? These are all types of volunteering that can count towards your SVA Service Award badges. Make sure to log into the SVA app and click the yellow button to LOG your hours.

For those in senior years, you will be thinking about leaving school and starting further education or finding work. Make sure your SVA Summary of Service is up to date and remember to use it along with your CV to showcase the awesome person you are. Download it, email it to yourself and print it! Employers and scholarship officers are twice as likely to employ or select someone with volunteering experience!

Finally, this week is mental health awareness week. Do you know there is a significant link between mental wellbeing and volunteering? Be sure to ask a friend and together get outside and do some volunteering this week to help each other out and feel great about helping your community.

All the best and ngā mihi,
Sam Johnson, SVA Founder

What has SVA been up to?

Together, we’ve helped volunteers all over Aotearoa to mobilise in response to this latest lockdown. We’ve seen heroes of all stripes step up to do their part. Take Liam Tagaloa, an SVA volunteer in Tāmaki Makaurau who’s been delivering groceries to vulnerable folks:

“Liam Tagaloa broke down after learning just how many people were going through lockdown without the support of family.
The 33-year-old spent five weeks of alert level 4 in Auckland volunteering for Student Volunteer Army, doing grocery shopping and delivering them to people in need.”

You can read more about Liam’s story here.

Or how about volunteer heroes Pauline and Peter? They asked for a friend’s advice about what to do in retirement and their friend told them not to worry, something would come along. Two days later they discovered SVA and now they’re two of our best Vaccine Clinic Helpers!You can read more about the work we’ve been doing in vaccine clinics in Ōtautahi here.

Follow us on social

The SVA story is always updating and you can keep track of the work we’re doing by following us on social media. Use the hashtag #SVAServiceAward to keep us updated on the work you’ve been doing – and to be in with a chance of being chosen as SVA’s #StudentVolunteerOfTheMonth and winning free merch.

Follow SVA on Instagram.
Follow the Service Award on Instagram.
Follow SVA on Twitter here.
And SVA on Facebook here.

Thank you.Most importantly, we want to thank you. We’ll keep in touch over the coming months to help you realise your potential as a hero in your community. We’re so grateful for the work you do, and that you’ve chosen to commit to the SVA Service Award programme as a model of manaakitanga, hard work, and leadership. It’s inspiring, and it gives us hope that there will always be volunteers ready to step up when Aotearoa needs us.

Kia ora team – it’s a joy to have you on board.

What can you do?

The most important part of the SVA Service Award is keeping track of the good mahi you’re already doing. It’s been a difficult time, and we know that you will have been doing important work to support your whānau and your wider community. Right now, take a moment to reflect on something you’ve done throughout lockdown to help out. Once you’ve thought of something, go ahead and record it in the SVA App.

Now take a moment to think of one thing you will do in the next week to support someone else. It doesn’t have to be big – every little bit helps. Think of something you can do even in Level 3 – maybe it’s something you could do to support your parents or a sibling? Commit to doing one good deed, and then record it in the App.

Getting into the habit of volunteering and recording that volunteering regularly is the best way to build up your hours, and build up that CV of volunteering that will help you stand out when it’s time to go for scholarships, apprenticeships, or that first job.

How are you doing?

Volunteering has been shown time and time again to be a great way to reduce stress, build community, and give us a feeling of purpose. But sometimes when we most need that help, that’s when it feels hardest to face the world and take action. If you’re having a tough time right now, that’s totally understandable. Here are some resources that might help:

The kaupapa of SVA is made possible in part thanks to the support of