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Duke of Edinburgh’s Award participants give 32,000 hours of community support

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Keeping our beaches clean

Today kicks off the beginning of Student Volunteer Week and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award (The Award) are taking time to acknowledge and celebrate their Award participants who volunteer in communities throughout Aotearoa.

National Director Karen Ross says in the past year, around 7,000 students have given more than 32,000 hours of voluntary service.  “Their voluntary efforts include everything from helping the elderly in their community, volunteering at animal shelters, keeping Aotearoa clean and green through beach clean-ups, being involved in surf lifesaving, plus much more”.

 “You can’t really put a value on it, but it’s estimated that the voluntary time and skills our participants bring to Aotearoa is worth about $800,000 per year. The contribution they make to others wellbeing is priceless and they play a key part in helping to build resilient communities”.

 “This week is an opportunity for us to say thank you to our rangatahi who have made a positive contribution to society” ends Karen.

Tauranga student Laureen reading to Shirley who is blind.


It’s not just communities who benefit from the Voluntary Service, many of our participants find it life changing as well.  Our participants tell their stories best themselves –

I enjoyed helping the elderly by supplying them with pinecones for the winter. Being a person on the Autism Spectrum, these experiences have allowed me to do things outside my comfort zone and realise what I can achieve.  – Jonty, Hawkes Bay

 Giving back to the community has become an integral part of my life and will continue. – Luke, Auckland

 Working for a week in India with underprivileged children at Good Word Trust in Delhi was a highlight. – Olivia, Palmerston North

 Volunteering for DOC on Kawau Island was such an amazing experience, getting to see first-hand just how much effort DOC put into maintaining their tracks behind the scenes. – Cascade, Hamilton

 I helped build two houses for underprivileged families in Vanuatu. The handover ceremony was an honour to attend, the expressions on the recipients faces is something I will never forget. - Bailey, Auckland

 I really enjoyed volunteering at Zealandia, getting to know more about our native taonga and introducing them to other people. – Keryn, Wellington

 I still volunteer even though I’ve finished the Award, due to the sense of community it gives me. - Emma, Waikato

 I have been able to give back to the communities that supported me when I was younger. – Laura, Auckland

 I have been able to make some significant changes for youth through my involvement in the Palmerston North Youth Council. – Ajay, Palmerston North

 Giving back to the community has become an integral part of my life and will continue. Luke, Auckland

 My time in Malawi was life changing. I would not change this experience for anything. – Emma, Auckland



Student Volunteer Week 2021:15 – 21 March 2021

 Student Volunteer Week 2021 (#SVW2021) runs from 15–21 March 2021. Celebrating #SVW2021 is an opportunity to acknowledge the impact that student volunteers make through volunteering.

Collective Impact:  Give.Grow.Connect is the theme of #SVW2021. Student volunteers give a hand to the community, grow as they gain knowledge and create valuable changes, and connect with others.

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