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Student volunteers keep up the good work

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 3:29pm

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The Army of Volunteers from St Margaret's College and University College with St Paul's member Owen Lawn (kneeling, centre), and volunteer organiser Dylan Davies (blue jacket).

St Paul’s Cathedral got a garden makeover last Friday as students from St Margaret’s College and University College volunteered their time to help clear the lawns.

About 20 students spent four hours clearing weeds and cutting down bushes to prepare for new plantings, as well as water blasting pathways and raking leaves at the church’s community garden.

The students were part of the UniCol Army of Volunteers, and Dylan Davies, student volunteer organiser and Resident Tutor at University College, said this initiative was just one of many volunteer sessions set up through the UniCol Army of Volunteers.

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Students Katie Cooper and Anthony Lee digging weeds from the church gardens.

“In the past we have helped with Plunket’s Kids Day, Dalmore Community Garden, Hyde Street safety set-up, Relay for Life, Alzheimer’s Otago and many, many more.”

Owen Lawn, a member of the St Paul’s Church, supervised the students on the day and said it had “been a pleasure.”

“They’ve worked hard and helped me do what needed to be done- some of them with more skill than others!”

Friday’s volunteer group at St Paul’s was “the biggest event we have done to date,” said Dylan, noting that they normally sent between two to 10 students to each event. Having close ties with neighbouring St Margaret’s College meant their students were often keen to get involved.

Dylan said community groups often email him for the UniCol student volunteers’ help, and that he works closely with Sze-En Watts, the University of Otago Volunteer Coordinator, to find projects.

University College student Leo Zhu said the day was “absolutely fantastic” despite the cold wind, and having pizza supplied for lunch was a welcome warm-up.