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Whareama cashes in favour

One of the Rabobank volunteers helping Whareama School pupils Harrison Kerr, left, and Bayley Williams dig a hole for the inground trampoline. PHOTO/ELISA VORSTER

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Christmas came early for Whareama School pupils who made the most of having $5000 cash and 12 volunteers at their disposal for a day.

The school won the Good Deeds Initiative competition which recognised it as being top in the country for performing good community deeds through its pupil-led projects.

As the winner, it received $5000 to enhance its existing projects, as well as a working bee by 12 volunteers from Rabobank and NZME’s The Country, which was behind the competition.

It may have been the last week of term when the volunteer day came around, but that didn’t mean the children were too tired to get stuck into their work.

They have been chipping away all year at their projects, such as an in-ground trampoline, a bike track, an outdoor classroom and a vegetable garden.

The pupils were the brains and the volunteers the brawn – the children showing the adults what needed working on.

This included assembling the trampoline, digging giant holes, assembling bikes, and putting together a kitset shed with a frighteningly large number of rivets.

Principal Darren Kerr said it was really exciting for the students to be able to finish their projects in time to use them next year.

“The reels of tape for the bike track are not cheap, they’re $200 a roll,” he said.

They also wanted some school-owned bikes to go with it and a shed to keep them in, the cost of which added up fast.

Kerr said aside from the funds, it was also good to have the extra manpower as it was a major factor in the delay in completing the projects.

Regional manager of Rabobank in the lower North Island Rua Crofskey said he and the other volunteers had come from Wanganui, Masterton, Feilding and Palmerston North to help out.

“Everyone is from a farming background, that’s probably why they picked us to help,” he said.

Crofskey said the team were happy to help a small school with something they thought was worthy of support.

“We’re solely a rural bank so we know what it’s like in small communities and we like to give back to them.”

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