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Toi Ohomai shows community spirit

Toi Ohomai staff relocating tunnel houses at Good Neighbour. Supplied images.

This year the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge effect on the Bay of Plenty community so Toi Ohomai organised a community day to help those hit hardest.

The inaugural Toi Ohomai Community Day took place on October 22, and was an opportunity for staff to get out in the community and contribute their time to organisations or services for those in need.

The purpose has been to show their appreciation, help out others, and share the Toi Ohomai values the staff strive to uphold.

Teams from across the organisation helped pack food parcels, cooked BBQs, provide morning tea, helped with maintenance at various organisations and tried to put a smile on the faces of essential workers.

It wasn't just Toi Ohomai staff taking part in community day, many students joined the kaupapa.

Toi Ohomai events and engagement manager Megan Wheeler says the scope of the day meant a wide range of organisations were able to benefit from staff lending them a helping hand.

“It’s been great to get in to the community and help out so many deserving organisations. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on our community and sometimes just giving your time to help an organisation is just as good, or even more helpful as a monetary donation.

“We are very lucky that Toi Ohomai supports this kaupapa and we were able to make a difference to various organisations across the whole Bay of Plenty.”

Toi Ohomai Windermere campus staff baked delicious treats, shouted lunch and some pampering for the staff at Te Puna Ora o Mataatua to acknowledge their awesome mahi supporting the community during the COVID-19 response, in particular many struggling students were supported with food parcels or vouchers.

Other activities included baking for the Greerton Fire Station, picking up rubbish on Mauao, ground maintenance at Riding for the Disabled and packing food parcels at Tauranga Community Foodbank.

Good Neighbour is not only a huge supporter in the community, but they provide the Windermere students with an average of 500kg of free food every week, so two teams spent the day there, one put on a hāngi while the carpentry team helped relocate tunnel houses.

Toi Ohomai Primary Industries and Infrastructure faculty dean Brian Dillon says he is aware of the work Good Neighbour do in the community and knew they wanted some help with some projects.

“The day went really well. We brought along our building skills and were able to help them tick off a job they had been wanting to achieve.”

He says the tunnel houses will grow seedlings before they are planted in the community garden.

“We’ve also identified some opportunities to connect them with our horticulture team to see if we can help propagate seedlings for them.”

Brian says the principals behind community day align with Toi Ohomai values and of those of many community organisations.

“Hopefully we can create a groundswell of awareness and in the community and in turn we should be able to create a bank of opportunities for us to get involved with.”

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Toi Ohomai

Posted on 29-10-2020 11:29 | By Equality

Is the Maori name replacing what used to be called ’Bay of Plenty Polytech’ - for those who are wondering.