Jobs needed for Queenstown student army on teacher only day

by Lauren Pattemore - May 03, 2024

Teacher only days generally give school pupils a day off, but a local organisation is spearheading an innovative plan to put the unexpected free time to good use.

Volunteer South has put an open call-out to Queenstown organisations to invite young people from Wakatipu High School to do volunteering work for them next the schools next teacher only day on Friday, May 31.

Volunteer South says school pupils could either slot in and work alongside existing volunteers at an organisation or people could get creative and take the opportunity to have some extra hands to help on a new project.

"It could be something home-based, such as baking or designing a poster for an upcoming event. It is up to you how many students you wish to host," Volunteer South says in a statement on the programme.

The idea of having school pupils volunteering for a day started in the region three years ago, when Dunstan High School teacher Keri Barnett encouraged the young people in her care to connect and give back to their community by sharing their time, energy and skills on a teacher only day.

Since then, Volunteer South has facilitated eight student volunteering days across Queenstown, Wānaka and Alexandra, with more than 230 students working in multiple different industries over that time.

The young people have helped out in conservation, childcare, baking, event support, charity shop, animal welfare, mental health and community gardening roles.

Volunteer South recommends that student volunteering sessions run in time slots from 9am until 12pm or from 12.30pm to 3.30pm. 

The trust has created an online form for organisations to fill out for roles (available here), and questions can be directed to Central Lakes community connector Neha Gosalia at [email protected].

"We will share with you an overview of best practices to remember and include to give students the best volunteering experience," the statement says.

Main image (Facebook/Volunteer South): Students volunteering for Keep Alexandra Clyde Beautiful.

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