Everybody loves a
So meet the 135 boarders at the Otago Boys' High School
hostel, School House, who are volunteering their services to
their Roslyn neighbours.
Trees have been cut, branches trimmed, and windows cleaned as
part of a new neighbourhood assistance scheme launched this
School House manager Paul Vlietstra said the programme was
designed to make up for the ''odd ball going over a fence''.
''We are never going to stop that - balls are alway going to
go over the fences - but the response we are getting is
''We would rather focus on the positive, rather than the
negative, so we thought we would do this because we are
always looking for things to keep them busy.''
A notice to promote the free scheme had been hand-delivered
to 150 homes near the Melrose St hostel. Four homebaked
biscuits were included with each notice.
The response to the scheme had been tremendous and the boys
had been left ''buzzing'' by their involvement, he said.
Mr Vlietstra said many of the boys, who were aged between 13
and 18, came from farms and were practical, so could help
clear sections, paint, mow lawns, garden or do cleaning.
Some of the boys had completed a chainsaw safety course
through the school, and had used an electric chainsaw for
several recent projects.
As hostel manager, he received the occasional negative phone
call, ''but everyone has been ringing up saying thank you
Volunteer Fin Sinnott said he enjoyed cleaning the windows of
an elderly couple, and ''it was good for the hostel to get
out in the community''.
Grateful Highgate resident Melvell Kirk praised the scheme,
saying, ''It is just great.''
''It is no cost to us, and the windows were the one thing we
really wanted done ... and they said they would come again.''