Christchurch youth time-banking to create 10,000 strong rock-concert
By Steve Carter
In November, there’s going to be a concert in Christchurch, one that people are talking up as “the biggest music event Christchurch has seen.”
We are talking an impressive musical line-up (to be announced from mid-July), at a gig hosted in the brand new AMI stadium in Addington, where it is expected that up to ten thousand young people will be “partying like rockstars”.
Sounds great eh?
Well, here’s the really clever conceit … you can’t even buy tickets for this concert!
That’s right. No tickets. All anybody has to do to get to this event is give four hours or more of their time to a community project that has been registered with The Concert
website and they will get an electronic entry wristband.
Music heaven … just for doing something good.
It’s a simple and beautiful idea and it’s the latest stroke of genius from the team behind the Student Volunteer Army. Sarah Campagnolo might describe herself as the “behind-the-scenes girl” of the organisation (everybody knows the ubiquitous Sam Johnson, right?!) but, right now, she’s the one filling me in on the details
As the high profile public face of the Army moves away from focussing on post-quake digging of silt, there is still a lot of energy among young people to be a living part of the rebirth of their city and their future. Sarah tells me that, “Many people we come across ask, “how do we do what you guys do?” but we don’t want them to just think about what we do … we ask, “what do you want to make happen?”
The Concert now provides a platform to connect people to community action projects. They aim to continue the momentum that grew out of the silt-shifting and translate it into a drive for wider change-making in Christchurch. Projects can register their need for people onto the website … bringing together an army of active and motivated youth with projects that are a vital engine in revitalising the city.
But it needn’t be exclusively about new ideas and new projects. As Sarah makes clear, “Some of it is about registering volunteering … but some is recognising volunteering
that is already happening.”
There is a lot of stuff going on. The activities of the Army after the major earthquakes really challenged public perceptions of young people as lazy, disengaged and anti-social. Research suggests that many young people are active citizens but also that many others struggle to find ways to be involved or to get others on-side for their ideas.
So The Concert provides a unique vehicle for encouraging and celebrating volunteering and community action among young people. Interestingly, there are so many driven to be a part of the recovery that, as Sarah points out, “I know a few people who are volunteering even though they’re not going to be in the country when The Concert happens!”
There are certainly a lot of opportunities to be involved in the creation of Christchurch 2.0.
Exciting, high-profile projects like Gap Filler or Greening the Rubble operate on volunteer labour and commitment and they are changing the way the city feels about itself … but they also need people to take charge of projects for themselves.
Sarah is keen that the message gets out to young people that they can and should run with any ideas they have for their community. She puts it smartly into another context:
“It’s like a single transaction in a Timebank … you give something and you get something straight back.”
Of course, as Sarah knows, the rewards are actually not so reducible. As she points out,“Once people have got involved in volunteering projects they will see how easy it is, how good it makes them feel, and all the other benefits … and they will keep wanting to do it.”
Sarah has seen first-hand the benefits of ‘being involved’. Like a lot of people, she says that she wasn’t really outgoing as a young person but experienced a lot of growth through becoming more active in her community. As she describes it, “I became more outgoing and more confident as a person. We want other young people to connect to the benefits of being engaged in community action.”
So, if you can, do. There’s a whole heap of potential benefits to getting stuck into something. For others … but also for you! That’s the message of The Concert. Join the
Army, do some good in this great city and then get you and your friends along to the event of the year.
‘The Concert’ is presented with help from the (apparently) very nice people at Skinny. For more information on how to get involved, as a project or as a volunteer, visit the website at www.theconcert.co.nz or shoot over to their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheConcertNZ
Read the inspiring stories of our Christchurch sponsors:
SHAC – The Sustainable Habitat Challenge – is a network of architects, builders, engineers, designers, building scientists, students and young professionals interested in taking positive action in their communities today.
On the 2-3 May 2012, SHAC presented the 2nd annual workshop on micro-architecture at the Christchurch Polytechnic Student Centre. Sixty attendees discussed temporary architecture, simple buildings, and the reuse of building material.
“People cherish their culture through recycling” – those are the words of Wang Shu, the 2012 winner of the Pritzker architecture prize. The demolition of red stickered housing and CBD buildings does not have to mean the eradication of Christchurch’s history or culture – nearly all materials can be reused in new construction, incorporating local memories and fusing the past with the present.
What is permanent in this land of earthquakes? In San Francisco, the Palace of Fine Arts was built in 1915 as a temporary building for the Panama-Pacific Exposition and still stands today as an icon of the city. From the cardboard cathedral to the convention centre – how long will they serve us?
“Simple buildings are key for affordability” said Canadian architect Brian McKay Lyons, recently interviewed on Nine to Noon with Kim Hill. Lyons, from Nova Scotia, says “simple buildings are what we farmers and fishermen build when we can’t afford to get things wrong”
This symposium brought together elements of the growing Regeneration movement – people working together to take positive action in their communities.
Community Rebuild – for the Whole House Reuse project Juliet Arnott
Community Development – Joshua Durrant, Jess Smale, Sophie Moore
YTONG® is an alternative building system made from light-weight Aerated Autoclaved Concrete (AAC). It was invented in Sweden in 1923 and further developed under the YTONG® brand it turned into a world-wide success.
Environmentally friendly and non-toxic – From the manufacturing process to shipment, construction, and waste disposal YTONG® is in ecological balance.
Ensures high standard of well-being – YTONG® reduces temperature differences and humidity fluctuations and so ensures a comfortable and healthy room atmosphere.
Excellent workability – It is easy to erect a solid masonry structure quickly and precisely. Only few tools and implements are necessary.
Outstanding thermal insulation – Keeps buildings cool in summer and warm in winter saving on heating and air-conditioning.
YTONG® is fireproof and has a high fire rating – AAC is resistant to high temperatures for a longer period of time than any other solid building material. YTONG® is especially chosen for fireproof walls in commercial buildings.
Performs well in earthquakes – Thanks to its low weight and its plastic deformation properties the destructive force of earthquakes can be minimised.
Social Innovation is a small, hardworking community engagement agency based in Christchurch. They work with leading non-profits, changemakers, progressive companies and government to mobilise everyday New Zealanders. Their expertise in this area comes from grassroots innovation on large-scale community action projects, including the Student Volunteer Army, A Day at the Beach Festival, Love your Coast and a number of other public participation initiatives. They know how to scale initiatives and achieve big results with large numbers of stakeholders.
Their services include strategy, leadership training, volunteer coordination & management, media and communications, project management and fundraising. Find out more at www.socialinnovation.org.nz or make direct contact via their studio-line on 03 337 0861
Ph: 03 337 0861 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Got good news to share about your social enterprise? Join this inspiring line up of Christchurch sponsors, email email@example.com