Happy 6th birthday!

Student Horizons celebrated its 6th birthday on June 12th, and to mark the occasion, both the Australian and New Zealand SH teams went out to give a little back to their communities. SH Australia spent a day with Brisbane Youth Service, and SH New Zealand helped out the Auckland City Mission. Both offices had a great time lending a hand to these amazing, hardworking organisations, and we even felt inspired enough to discuss the possibility of doing some annual volunteering.

Brisbane Youth Service supports disadvantaged young people from 12 to 25 years of age, helping them to secure and maintain housing, as well as providing assistance to youths with physical & mental health issues.

Team Australia were warmly welcomed on the day by one of the amazing youth workers at BYS. We were given a little tour of the facilities, and we also ended up having a very thought-provoking and eye-opening Q&A session before it was time to get our hands dirty!

BYS has several housing complexes in Brisbane, providing youth and young families a safe and stable accommodation to develop skills needed to sustain their own property. We were able to assist by cleaning up and removing a lot of damaged and unusable items from some of this accommodation, making it a tidier, safer and more hygienic place to live. The entire team worked very hard, and we were all very pleased to see the difference our day’s efforts had made!

It was great to have the opportunity to help such an important organisation, and we want to extend our thanks to Brisbane Youth Service for the great work that they do caring for and supporting the less fortunate.

The Auckland City Mission is a social service provider that supports Aucklanders in desperate need, from providing food and housing to the underprivileged and assisting those struggling with mental health issues, to refuge and rehabilitation for people battling addiction.

The New Zealand team were given the opportunity to help with the set up of a new drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre in West Auckland. The centre, being converted from an old rest home, will provide on-site housing, a supportive community and professional help for its residents.

It was a very large property so SH NZ chose to divide and conquer for maximum efficiency. Some of us took on the mountains of donated food, dragging in some shelving and sorting everything into a tidy and organised storeroom. Others tackled the kitchen, with an equally large number of donated crockery and kitchenware to sort through, as well as scrubbing, sweeping, and the most difficult task of deciding which cupboards should be allocated to what kind of kitchen items. And some ventured into the uncharted territory of putting kitset furniture together, their struggles with the instructions being an epic tale that will no doubt be passed down through generations.

It was a very productive day with 9 of us pitching in, and we all felt the warm fuzzies of a good deed done when we saw the transformation from piles of boxes to actual functioning rooms! Auckland City Mission does invaluable work in our community and we would be more than happy to help them out again.

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