The Student Volunteer Army (SVA) originated in Christchurch following the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. Since this time the SVA has provided opportunities for tens of thousands of New Zealanders to make meaningful contributions to their communities, both in and out of times of crisis.

Since its inception the SVA has mobilised to respond to events such as the Kaikoura earthquakes in 2016, the March 15 terrorist attack, and numerous local flooding and bush-fire events.

The SVA mobilised again across New Zealand after the Covid-19 lockdown to help the country’s most vulnerable get the essential grocery and pharmaceutical supplies they need.

With its experience in recruiting sufficient numbers and rapidly training the capabilities required to support communities in times of need, Student Volunteer Army president Isabella Fanselow said it was natural that the organisation would be looking for ways to help during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“People who are unable to leave their homes during the alert level four lockdown can select and pay for their groceries via a custom-built website. A local member of the Student Volunteer Army will then shop for, collect and deliver groceries direct to their door. Deliveries are completely contactless, the volunteers stand back and give a friendly wave from afar,” says Fanselow.

The Kiwi supermarket chain New World is partnering with the SVA and opening their stores an hour earlier to let volunteers pick up groceries.

“It’s our duty as the Student Volunteer Army to help where we can in times like this. We encourage anyone needing assistance or willing to help in their communities to get in touch with us via our website or call us for free on 0800 005 902” says Fanselow.

Joining Forces

In 2018 UPS Power Solutions provided much needed funds to the SVA to help them renovate the office space provided to them by the University of Canterbury. It was important to the SVA that their legacy and rich history was preserved and displayed for their visitors, future members and to inspire and facilitate new volunteering events.

It is from these offices that the SVA Executive coordinate and resource their community projects and response including the initial Covid-19 response prior to alert level-4.

Like the SVA, the team at UPS Power Solutions recognise that we have a duty in times like this. We support the critical power needs of our essential services customers throughout the alert level four lockdown.

The last thing our customers need in times like this is to have their essential services impacted by power problems and our team has been working hard to ensure their power is safe in our hands.

We are pleased, as part of our “Helping Hands” initiative, to have been able to help the SVA in a small way and are honoured to once again support this outstanding group of young New Zealanders by way of a donation to their Covid-19 response fund.


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