Ten Years of SVA
We’re celebrating ten years of the SVA: we’ve spent a decade actively teaching volunteerism and project management in primary schools, secondary schools and supporting students at tertiary level to mobilise volunteers across New Zealand and be the change they wish to see in their communities.
To join us in acknowledging our origins (and to contribute your story) click below to learn more!
The Student Volunteer Army was founded after the Christchurch Earthquakes in 2010, when our founder Sam Johnson was a student at the University of Canterbury. He, along with a team of other students, organised 11,000 volunteers to come together and shovel liquefaction (silt) out of the city (equivalent to the weight of the Empire State Building!) and the Student Volunteer Army was born.
In the years since, the Student Volunteer Army has diversified to administer programmes aimed at developing a volunteering culture in New Zealand at all stages of education, nationwide – SVA Schools for primary, SVA Service Award for secondary and the SVA Club at the University of Canterbury for tertiary. These programmes reach 65,000 students across Aotearoa every year.
In March 2020, the Student Volunteer Army activated a response to the global pandemic to help the most vulnerable members of the community access essential services in the coming weeks. Our efforts focused on those disproportionately affected by the pandemic – over 65’s, immunocompromised, solo parents, essential workers and their families. We provided grocery delivery for over 65’s, immunocompromised and healthcare workers; worked with pharmacists to deliver prescriptions to housebound clients and provided childcare for healthcare workers.
If you prefer phone assistance, you can contact the Student Volunteer Army Helpline between Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm.
0800 005 902
Can we call your family member? We have a friendly team of phone operators who can call someone you support each week to take their order over the phone. Set this up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, number, and preferred day for a phone call.
Special recognition to the following partners:
CANTERBURY DISTRICT HEALTH BOARD
MINISTRY OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
TAX MANAGEMENT NZ
CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL
TAVENDALE AND PARTNERS
CARERS NEW ZEALAND