St John Youth – Christchurch No. 3 Youth Division
We formed about 87 years ago – we are the oldest division in Christchurch. We were formed by the 3 Field Ambulance (that is where the No. 3 part of our name comes from). Cadets in NZ have been around since 1927 where they were commenced in the North Island. As an organisation we have been around since the 900’s (over a 1000 years) where we were set up in Jerusalem.
The idea of the cadet divisions are to educate young people between the ages of 8 – 17 years (and 6 – 8 years for the younger group – Penguins). We mentor them in everything from health care, first aid, patient care right through to how to put out a fire, change a car tyre and stay safe in the water. We give them ideas for taking up and keeping hobbies, appreciating the arts , learn about the organisation and it’s rich history and ultimately how to be leaders and pioneers in their own fields. We have turned out a fantastic amount of young adults who are equipped with life skills, but also how to have fun (play games, socialize, hang out with their mates safely).
This year we plan to give the money to the Christchurch Youth Division District (which has at least 12 divisions around Christchurch). Because of the pandemic, money is tight in the organisation and this has hit the cadet program. The money raised will help cadets who are struggling with life in general, parents who can not afford uniform and also to help pay for resources for the district who without fundraising would not be able to even consider.
The cadet program has helped many cadets who have autism function normally in society, allow young people who are initially shy to become Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) after some mentoring and also allowing them to be themselves. I must admit it was tough when we had to do division online – so we had a night when all “showed up” for “parade” dressed in our PJ’s or onesies with most of the cadets in the group actually in bed! It was a great night and the cadets learned how to put out their onesie if it accidentally was set fire to (we were doing the fire safety badge). Believe me – even their Divisional Manager (DM) was in her onesie tucked up in be at 7 pm. So, even if we cannot meet in person we will still connect with all of the cadets in other ways.
Aratupu Preschool and Whānau Hub
Aratupu has been established in this community for just over 40 years! Aratupu is a place where children play, learn, and explore their unique passions and strengths. It’s a place where parents, whānau, and kaiako gather to chat, laugh, and problem solve. It’s a place where anything is possible!
Because we are a non for profit preschool, the money donated from gift wrapping will be used for buying new resources for our tamariki. This may include new equipment for out in the playground, arts and crafts, books, musical instruments etc.
Our children are so grateful when we introduce something ‘new’ into their preschool environment so we are super excited to get busy wrapping so that we can have some new resources to show them come 2021!
Allenvale Specialist School (for ORS funded students with special needs)
Our school has been in Aorangi Rd since the late 1960’s early 70’s on land that was bequeathed to the Ministry of Education by Mr Allen. He wanted a special school to be built on his land after he died. The land was like a vale – slight hill, with creek, fruit and nut trees. Our school was named ‘Allenvale’ for Mr Allen’s vale.
We provide education to students aged from 5 – 21, here at our base site and at three satellites off site located at Ashgrove School, Wairakei School and at the Papanui Youth Development Centre (for our 17 – 21 year olds)
We have had a couple of focus areas at present that will grow next year. Sensory Learning and Play Based Learning. The money generated from the gift wrapping will go to providing resources to support these programmes.
Our principal, who is on wrapping duties this year with his wife mentioned that after he and his wife went to the training night they went home and rewrapped all their grandchildren’s presents!
Papanui High School PTA
The PTA has been around for pretty much as long as PTAs started in schools. It has always been heavily involved in school community activities and supporting staff through interview nights and community events. It’s a great PTA to be involved with.
The PTA funds go to help out students to participate in extra curricular activities that their families may struggle to meet the costs of the event, we contribute to school productions when they are on and we contribute each year to the school end of year celebrations and donate prizes to the junior and senior prizegiving.
As a group we love doing the gift wrapping at Northlands at Christmas time, our members are always keen to volunteer to help – it is our favourite fundraising event.