20 May 2011
Ninety Trainees from the NZ Defence Force’s Youth Development Unit (YDU), Limited Service Volunteer course based at Trentham were tasked with conducting a community based activity in the Upper Hutt area on Saturday 14th May.
The initiative, organised in conjunction with the Upper Hutt City Council aimed to give the trainees a sense of serving the community and to increase the community profile of the YDU.
Piles of gravel were dumped on a track in Harcourt Park and trainees from three platoons distributed the gravel to make an even covering ready for compacting as well as helping to spread large number of bark mulch piles around trees in the park.
When the Parks and Reserves Officer for the Upper Hutt City Council, Conrad King, inspected the site on Monday morning, he was surprised with the amount of work the platoon groups had completed. “It was beyond what we were expecting and the quality of finish was perfect. The appearance of that area of the Park has certainly been improved,” he said.
The co-ordinator of the activity for YDU on the day, Lieutenant Jethro Gilbert said “the trainees were excited about helping the community and showing everyone that their initiative and team work had improved while on course. It was great to see the pride they had in their work.”
The trainees from all over the lower North Island who are job seekers with Work and Income certainly lived up to the values the course aims to instil: Team work, initiative, motivation and a sense of community pride were all evident in the effort they put into the task.
NZ Defence Force instructors at the Youth Development Unit are proud of the individual improvements that the trainees make over the six weeks, which is encouraged by the military styled approach of the course. LT Gilbert says, “It’s definitely the most satisfying job I’ve ever had. It can be hard work at times, but the end product is well worth the effort”.
Mention of the next Upper Hutt community project is already under way for the next course which marches in to Trentham on 13th June.
Written by LT Jethro Gilbert.