16 Oct 2012

Dunedin trials volunteer Scarfie Army

8:18 pm on 16 October 2012

A student volunteer army is being set up in Dunedin as the idea spreads from post-earthquake Christchurch.

A trial of the Scarfie Army project began on Tuesday with a free car clinic. Twenty Otago Polytechnic student mechanics volunteered to service the cars of 10 local charities and people on a benefit.

Volunteer student mechanics service a vehicle.

Volunteer student mechanics service a vehicle. Photo: RNZ

The polytech's health and safety manager, Terry Buckingham, says the idea was inspired by what Christchurch students achieved and the polytech wants trainees to volunteer for at least one day a year.

Louis Brown, who worked with Canterbury University student Sam Johnson to create the Student Volunteer Army, says Dunedin's scarfies have been volunteering for years.

Mr Brown says the Scarfie Army is a way to expand that and to give students a better reputation.

The idea is to link a potential labour force of 25,000 students with what the community needs done, he says.