National Volunteer Week
Southern Youth Development is a passionate supporter of empowering young
people, especially with mahi hapori that encourages sustainability and better
systems for our environment. Our youth workers and volunteers support rakatahi to
collect bicycles from the landfill to restore, recycle and give them back out to people
who need them.
Our volunteers are mentors who facilitate rakatahi to gain lifelong skills by learning
how to maintain and care for a bicycle. They teach everything through learning how
to use tools, maintaining and understanding the mechanisms of a bicycle and then
encourage rakatahi to make connections with the community by gifting the bicycles
to people who need them. Our volunteers are often rakatahi who have gone through
the programme themselves and want to share their knowledge.
The Bikes@syd programme has been running since 2018 and our team of youth
workers and volunteers have supported rakatahi to recycle over 2000 bicycles in this
time. Recycled bicycles go to whānau in need, or those who need to use bicycles for
commuting, but anyone from the public can receive the bicycles and the syd
volunteers often have their own strong links in the community. Since the beginning of
the programme, syd has been gifting bicycles to newly arrived former refugee
whānau in their first few weeks in Ōtepoti Dunedin. Both volunteers and rakatahi
generally maintain strong relationships with many of those who receive their
Southern Youth Development is extremely grateful to all the volunteers who support
bikes@syd and all their youth programmes. Their expertise, so freely given, is an
important part of all the mahi we do for both our rakatahi and our hapori.