Lincoln students mobilise to help with flood recovery effort

04 June 2021 | Students News

Lincoln University students have sprung into action to help repair the damage caused by the recent Canterbury floods, which wreaked havoc in rural areas.

The Lincoln branch of the Student Volunteer Army and the campus Handy Landys club joined forces this week to start assisting farmers and landowners with cleaning up their properties.

“Raging flood waters have destroyed fences, caused sheds to collapse and filed areas with silt and rock, leaving debris strewn everywhere,” said Rachael Phillipson, Promotions Liaison for the response team.

“Seeing all the damage, we recognised the need to help out. We immediately turned to social media and our personal networks, putting advertisements and offers of help on community Facebook pages, websites and noticeboards, and began talking to people to spread the cause.”

The team also contacted Federated Farmers and Young Farmers groups, letting them know that they were ready to help.

Following the advertising efforts, they received a large number of requests and nominations for assistance, and club members were kept busy liaising with farmers to assess needs.

The first project was on Wednesday 2 June, when a team of volunteers headed to a Dunsandel farm to help with clearing debris from the fence lines to return them to their former stock-proof condition.

“The farm had been affected by heavy flood water piling debris against fences and across paddocks, leaving a massive hole gouged out in the land where gravel and topsoil had been lost,” Rachael said.

“The team of four spent the day on the farm, where they received a visit from Newshub, who were keen to showcase what Lincoln students were getting up to with their flood response efforts.”

The clubs have been working hard behind the scenes to process all the requests, obtain details and organise volunteers.

“We have our next trip planned for Saturday, when we’ll head out to Methven and help empty the silt from a farmer’s flooded workshops,” Rachael said. “On Tuesday, we’re going to a farm in Waddington to clear flood debris and fix fences where the Hawkins River flooded.

“We recognise that the recovery from these floods will be a long-term effort for Canterbury farmers and we plan to keep working with them over the next couple of months, even after the water has receded, to repair the damage left behind.”

Anyone needing assistance from the Lincoln student volunteers can contact them by email.