Community help in the bag at Tokomairiro High


Giving back to the community is the motto at Tokomairiro High School.

A group of pupils have been using their craft and gardening skills to create recycled fabric bags and grow vegetables for a community garden.

It was initiated by Project Bruce and spearheaded by sustainability projects co-ordinator Catherine Paul.

“It’s great to see how well the kids have taken to the project. It’s a big help,” she said.

Pupil Matthew Hutton was one of those enlisted to produce fabric bags and said while parts of the production were challenging, he knew it was for a good cause.

“The handles can be hard to do because you have to sew them up then turn them inside out .. but we do it so that if someone forgets their shopping bags, they can go over to the hub and get one.”

The bags would be kept at the Tokomairiro Community Hub for members of the public to use.

Art and technology teacher Carol Bungard said she thought the initiative was “fantastic”.

“It’s great to see the kids learning useful new skills while also giving back to the community.”

Over at the horticulture class, teacher Sue Nelson was also pleased with her pupils’ involvement.

“I think these kids have got it nailed. Project Bruce came and talked to us and they were really keen to get involved. It’s also nice to carry on the legacy of John Goldsworthy.”

The late Mr Goldsworthy used to provide free vegetables for a community garden to help those who were struggling.

In an October 2018 Otago Daily Times report, he said, “I thought: I hate to see these tools sitting idle, so what could I do to put them to good use?”

He passed the torch to the pupils of Tokomairiro High School last year.

For pupils Kamalie Deseymour (14) and Ally-Mae Michelle (14) it was a steep learning curve but they enjoyed it.

“Sometimes just getting out there and doing it is the hardest part, especially when it’s cold. But it’s a good skill to learn,” Kamalie said.

“And you feel proud when you see what you’ve grown,” Ally-Mae said.