Students Supporting Wellington Inner City Ministries
As part of the Hutt Valley High School Gateway programme a group of Year 12 students recently donated mats and sleeping bags to The Salvation Army Wellington Inner City Ministry. Organised and supported by Careers and Transition teacher Jude Allen, these students identified that they wanted to raise money to offer practical support to homeless Wellingtonians. ‘We knew that they were in need of help, and we were willing to put the effort in to make a change,’ says Elvis Whalen, one of the students involved.
A student-led project, Tasha Sandeman, Alex Pahl, Jordan Edhouse and Elvis Whalen researched multiple ways of fundraising. They decided on a school-wide barbeque where they sold burgers, sausages and drinks. They advertised this project on their school website which also gave their community an opportunity to contribute. Following a very successful barbeque, raised funds were then spent on mats and sleeping bags.
Inner City Ministries team leader, Major Joe Serevi, was delighted to receive a call from Jude telling him about a group of students who wanted to help. These enterprising students then visited Joe and his team to deliver the sleeping bags and mats. ‘The sleeping bags are going quickly,’ says Joe, noting that Wellington Inner City Ministries is the only Wellington agency that provides sleeping bags and mats. The generosity of these students has had a significant impact on this community.
‘Our clients like to know that people care. It’s cool that a young group of people have noticed a need and want to do something about it,’ says Siobhan Hunter, a member of the Wellington Inner City Ministries team. This donation allows Joe and his team to continue supporting and providing practical support to up to 120 people per week that come through their doors.