Some of Brockville's newest residents, Ronnie Janke (second
left) and Helen Jamieson (second right), receive a welcome
basket from Otago Polytechnic occupational therapy students
Ruth French (left) and Emma Steer. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Otago Polytechnic students are helping put a smile on the
faces of new residents in the Dunedin suburb of Brockville.
Two third-year occupational therapy students, Emma Steer and
Ruth French, have organised free welcome packs for new
residents as part of the community outreach component of the
The pair were at Brockville School on Saturday to hand over
the first of the packs, stuffed full of goodies, to two of
the suburb's newest residents, Ronnie Janke and Helen
Jamieson, formerly of Auckland.
The students had arranged three types of $20 gift packs,
suitable for parents with young children, teenagers or older
The goodies ranged from a ball and kite to nail polish and
lip gloss or crosswords and playing cards, depending on the
age of the recipients, Miss Steer said.
Each basket was made up of items bought for less than $20,
but it was hoped they would help make new residents feel
welcome, encourage interaction and keep them in the suburb
longer, she said.
''People were moving in and moving out quite quickly. There
wasn't that real connection with people that have lived here
for a long time.
''If they welcome these people to the community, it instantly
forms that bond,'' she said.
The initiative was the result of work by members of the
Brockville Community Development Project, a community
association, who approached the students about carrying out
the initiative in their area, she said.
The project also encouraged the students to get out of their
more familiar hospital surroundings and into the community,
The students had made up nine gift baskets initially, paid
for by the community association, and they would be offered
to new residents as they arrived, she said.
Mr Janke said the welcome baskets were a ''very kind'' offer.
''We have been [made] so welcome by the community here. It's