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NZMA Gives Back to the Community

From helping the Cancer Society raise $34,000, to teaching young kids about healthy eating; from baking cupcakes for the SPCA, to feeding 150 senior citizens at a South Auckland marae. ACG Tertiary & Careers Group provider NZMA is always on the lookout for creative, meaningful ways to give back to its local community.

With Whanau as one of its core values, NZMA actively strives to make a meaningful difference in its communities.  According to Campus Manager at NZMA Waikato, Leanda Bekker, it’s extremely rewarding for staff and students, and is also a great way for students to build their skills.

“Getting out into the community is a win-win,” she says. “We get to benefit others who are less fortunate, and our students gain some valuable real worldNZMA community work experience.  NZMA delivers a diverse range of training programmes, which enables us to get out there and help in a very diverse variety of ways.”

Recently everyone on campus donned their brightest, most garish shirts for Loud Shirt Day, in support of deaf children in New Zealand, and a dozen contact centre students volunteered their time to conduct a six-day calling campaign for the Cancer Society.  They sold 980 bunches of daffodils to businesses in Hamilton and Tauranga, and helped raise more than $34,000.  Shortly after, the campus was in full swing collecting for Red Nose Day for Cure Kids.

“We love getting out amongst the community and helping out wherever we can.”

NZMA Auckland South is equally as community-spirited.  Their hospitality students recently visited Manurewa Marae to put on a lunch for 150 senior citizens, while contact centre students have just completed a live calling campaign raising money for Multiple Sclerosis Auckland. Already this year the campus’s Level 3 and 4 contact centre classes have provided free call centre support for Lifeline, Cancer Society, Diabetes Youth and Pink Shirt Day. 

At NZMA Sylvia Park – the provider’s East Auckland cookery and hospitality school – students jump at the chance to test out their culinary and customer service skills in the wider community.  One group of students volunteered as chefs and bartenders for a special event put on by the Touch Compass Dance Company, an inclusive dance company comprising disabled and non-disabled dancers. Sixty cookery students also spent a recent morning at nearby Sylvia Park School, teaching 250 five- to ten-year-olds how to make wraps.  The entire school was then treated to a healthy lunch courtesy of NZMA.

Cookery tutor Caroline Jeyachandran soon hopes to roll out the “healthy eating initiative” to other local schools.

“Our students have enough and more, so it’s time to give back to the community.  Sylvia Park School is a low-decile school and not all the kids come to school with lunch.  It’s a very worthwhile way that we can contribute,” says Caroline.

“There are plenty of other local schools that are also in need and we hope to extend this initiative and make it a regular feature on our cookery students’ calendars.”

Campus Manager for Culinary Arts, Jasbir Kaur, is particularly active when it comes to hunting out and offering support to those in need. Her cookery students recently hosted a Pink Ribbon Breakfast and baked 300 cupcakes to raise money for the local SPCA.

“I heard about the SPCA fundraiser on the radio one day,” says Jasbir.  “We have a great pastry team and some awesome patisserie students so I thought it would be an ideal opportunity for us to get involved.”

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