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Inspiring SVA School Ambassadors

17 August 2022

How students as volunteers and members of our community can take action for clean water was the focus of a virtual forum for Student Volunteer Army Service Award Ambassadors recently.  

Citycare Water Christchurch Maintenance Operations Manager Bruce Cutler shared with the students how our mahi looks after stormwater, wastewater and drinking water for communities 24/7.  

“It was great to interact with youth from around the motu who are really wanting to make a difference,” Bruce says. 

The key messages relevant for the ambassadors and everyone who cares for our environment are that water is a precious taonga and we should all do our part to conserve, protect and treasure this resource.  

The group addresses the specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of the month and in July it was goal six – Clean Water and Sanitation.  

The forum was a call to action to inspire friends, whanau and the wider community to protect our beautiful natural environment, fight water waste and be a kaitiaki of our wai. 

SVA has a unique programme which Citycare Water helps fund called the SVA Service Award.  

This is present in around 300 secondary schools and is used to recognise and celebrate volunteering and service of young people. Within this programme, champion volunteers are selected to lead the programme in their schools – they are known as SVA Ambassadors.  

The ambassadors were really appreciative of Bruce’s insights at the guest speaker session and he says it was a great initiative to be involved in. 

“It was really interesting and I found the info about fatbergs, washing cars in the driveways and cleaning out stormwater drains as key takeaways for me,”  Rongotai College SVA Ambassador.

“Citycare Water was great – water is something I do not think much about – and honestly never thought about helping with volunteering activities. I will be more mindful with my water usage and discuss with my family about limiting our showers to 10 minutes, and using half flushes more often too,” Wellington East Girl's High School SVA Ambassador. 

 “...It was really interesting having a different angle on water meters – my parents often talk about them, but it's true that we need to have a way which makes us realise water is not an infinite resource,” Henderson High School SVA Ambassador.