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The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1925

Social Service Club

page 70

Social Service Club.

"The world is not a menagerie, but a brotherhood."

—Eden Philpot.

The name of the "Social Service Club" is sufficiently indicative of its purpose. The first report on the activities of the Club was contained in the last number of the "Spike" when it was indicated that this effort in constructive social service was then in full operation and the Club firmly established. Even at that stage, however, it was thought, and not without reason, that like many other similar efforts, although the Club gave every indication of success, after the novelty of the work had ceased to attract members and all experiences associated with the inception of a new Club had passed away, students might tire in their enthusiasm, and the Club might possibly die an inglorious death. It is with pleasure, however, that we are able to report that the work of the Club is still in the same Nourishing condition and that the scheme of service which has been undertaken at Porirua Mental Hospital has been continued uninterrupted since the date of our last report.

Parties of students have visited the Mental Hospital on every Saturday afternoon since the establishment of the Club with the exception of two special occasions, one Anzac Day and the other a Saturday when special circumstances rendered the visit impossible. Most members of the Club are either teaching or working in offices during the day in addition to pursuing their ordinary studies. Saturday afternoon, therefore, is usually the only free afternoon for members. Hence it is a matter of which the Club can be justly proud that it has been possible to find a sufficient number of students willing to render personal social service to enable the Club to send a party to the Hospital weekly, without, interruption, over a period of twelve months.

It might be explained that the nature of the work performed consists of visiting those patients selected by the doctors who have no friends, possess no estate and never receive any visitor, manifesting a kindly interest in their welfare as well as providing each of those visited with a small supply of luxuries in the way of fruit, confectionery, literature, cigarettes and tobacco.

In addition to the weekly visits the Club has also arranged a considerable number of concerts for the benefit of all the inmates, and in this work has obtained the assistance of people other than University students, including some of Wellington's leading talent.

Financially also the Club has been successful. A report on the activities of the Club was published in December last and forwarded to a large number of interested people as well as to a considerable number of commercial firms, together with an appeal for assistance. In this way, and also by other means the Club obtained a number of donations from generously disposed persons, with the result that the funds provided were such that the effort has not been hampered in any way for want of funds. Furthermore, various fruiterers in town, confectioners, tobacconists and wholesale publishers have provided the various supplies necessary for distribution at the Hospital, while motorists and motor firms have given the free use of their cars. All this has assisted in making the effort a success.

The main factor, however, in the success or otherwise of the whole work is the enthusiasm manifested by students, and on the continuance of this enthusiasm will depend the future of the Club. It is desired, therefore, to appeal to all students to join the Club and give some small part of their time to an effort of alleviating distress, which will fit them to become better citizens and will also enable them to provide a definite contribution to the welfare of the community; a duty which is imposed on every person who feels a sense of social responsibility, and perhaps particularly on University students. Those unable to assist by personal service could help the Club with donations, which should be addressed to Miss E. Pearce, treasurer of the Social Service Club. Women students who are willing to visit the Hospital on Saturday afternoons should communicate with either Miss R. Gardner or Miss Cooley, while men students who are willing to assist the effort in any way should communicate with the organiser, Mr. J. W. Davidson.