Frequently Asked Questions

More FAQs for the SVA App coming soon.. ⏳

What counts as volunteer service?

The SVA Service Award is based on helping others, with no personal financial gain for the individual student, or your school. Ultimately it is up to your school to decide what does or does not count as service hours for the SVA Service Award. Remember volunteering in and out of school can be credited.

We include mahi aroha, service of the heart and cultural obligations. That means being a home carer for someone elderly, sick, unwell or living with a disability is a form a service, likewise if a student has responsibility for caring for younger siblings. We proudly partner with Carers NZ on this initative and more information on "Young Carers" can be requested via

Head Prefects, along with any other student leadership role may qualify as service, but ultimately the final decision is yours as a school. There does need to be an awareness of the difference between a hobby and a cause and it is important not to include hobbies.

I am not sure how to volunteer

Start by thinking about the kind of volunteering you are able to do. Can you do something each week of the year, or just in the holidays. Then think about what you would like to do: inside/ outside/ with people/ online/ with animals. Then search for a person, a non-profit organisation or project you could help with. 

Do I have to volunteer at school?

Your volunteering service can be a part of a school activity, or a completely separate programme that you’ve planned independently. 

What can I do with my service records?

Your service record celebrates all the volunteer work you’ve put into your community. A PDF Summary of Service Record is available for free download at any time to any student who has registered their hours at This record is perfect for inclusion for job and study applications as well as for scholarships and awards.

Can I backdate my hours?

Have you done volunteering in the past? You can absolutely backdate your volunteering hours! Just select the correct past dates when logging your hours.

What do I do if I change schools?

Get in touch with us at and we’ll help you out.

What skills do I have to volunteer?

This is usually the first interview question a volunteer is asked. Think about your skills and what you can offer an organisation or group. Here are just a few ideas:
I’m good at using Instagram
I can show people how to use a cell phone
I speak two languages
I’m great at baking
I can provide personal insight about disability and access
I’m good with a soccer ball
I’m a strong swimmer
I’m confident speaking in front of groups
I’m good at using Excel spreadsheets

Where do I find a community organisation?

Visit your local volunteering, community centre, and library to see if there is already a group helping locally that you can connect with. Social media will also provide easily accessible information about groups needing volunteers. Can’t find anyone already helping? Start your own project!

How do you deliver this programme?

SVA are proud to deliver the programme in partnership with School Kit Ltd. 

Can we order SVA T-shirts?

Watch this space! We are currently exploring this and will update soon. 

What are the benefits of being involved in the SVA Service Award?
There is no cost to your school, it is time saving for your staff (particularly the person/people responsible for writing testimonials). It is also a really effective way for students to track their involvement in service activities, both in and out of school, over their time at High School.
Your students will have the ability to print out a summary of service record, to show a prospective employer, or tertiary institute the positive contribution they make to their community. 
How do we get involved as a school?

Please identify a single key contact in your school and register their details via We will then make contact with you and have a discussion about what your school is currently doing, in regards to service.

Your Key Contact will be asked how many students in your school might need to be acknowledged for their volunteering efforts and then the starter box of Members' Pins will be posted to them directly.

Is there a limit to how many pins you can request as a school?

Absolutely not. We will forward you the number of free Members’ Pins you request. Your responsibility is to decide how to present the pins to your student volunteers as they complete the required hours for the various levels. Students must complete their service record via to be awarded a pin.

How is the tracking of service hours done?

We operate a web based platform through which your students log on and record their service hours. It is an accumulative record of what and when a student carries out service, in and out of school. Each student who registers will have individual responsibility to record their hours as accurately and honestly as possible. This model is based on trust and is like creating a CV. 

When do I know what to present?

Log into your Teachers' Dashboard to download a report of student progress. Log in via the Log In function at the top of the page. You may need to request a log in is created for you if you are a new teacher by emailing

When can students print off their service profiles?

Any student who reaches 'Bronze' level gains access to the ability to download their 'Summary of Service' via the SVA Service Award site.

This is like a CV. Students can use it to apply for employment, place in a Hall of Residence, or when applying for student leadership roles within your school or a summer job. Ask students to share their profiles with you, particularly if you want to know more about what service a student may have completed to achieve a certain level of pin.

Who do we contact if we have a problem with the students logging on, the summary report or queries regarding access to information?

Please send an email to and we will help. You can also message us via Facebook messenger, just search SVA Service Award. 

Who do we contact if we have a query about the day to day runnings of the programme?

Get in touch with the School Kit team: and we'll help you out!

Where can we share the successes our students have?

We love to hear how fabulous your students are and would like to help write their story up to share it with the media. Please tag us in Facebook posts or email us your photos or stories and we would be glad to promote what your school is doing. 

Who funds SVA Service Award?

We rely on corporate and philanthropic donations. We pride ourselves on operating a low cost, high impact model that supports people to be life long volunteers. Please get in touch if you can help us or have an idea to share via 

Where can I make a donation?

We are a New Zealand registered charitable trust.

Volunteer Army Foundation Charitable Trust

Donations can be made by bank deposit to:


Cheques can be posted to:

Volunteer Army Foundation
4 Ash Street
Central Christchurch, 8011.

Please include your phone number and return address so we can say thank you!

Our Partners & Sponsors