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The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1926

Social Service Club

page 75

Social Service Club.

"On the whole, we think him better suited for social service, or journalism, or philology, than for a position of responsibility."

Stephen Leacock.

The Social Service Club is an effort to enlist the services of University students in constructive social service.

The Club aims at providing some definite service to the community which will consist of personal service on the part of students, and which will at the same time enable students to study something of the causes of distress in the community.

At present, the main effort of the Club consists of a scheme of service at Porirua Mental Hospital. A party of students visit the Hospital every week, visiting particularly certain patients selected by those in charge of the Institution who have no friends or relatives able to visit them, and who possess no estate, enabling them to purchase any of the luxuries which are commonly brought to other patients with friends and money.

In the recent Annual Report published by the Club, Dr. Jefferies, who was Medical Superintendent at the Hospital at the time the scheme was initiated, Dr. Tizard, the present Medical Superintendent, and Mrs. Fraser, Official Visitor, all testify to the value of the service which is being rendered, and speak in very appreciative terms of the Club's work at the Institution.

In addition to these weekly visits, a number of the children inmates of the Institution are also frequently taken for motor drives, and concert parties are regularly arranged for all inmates, in which the Club has had the assistance of some of Wellington's best talent.

During the past twelve months the Social Service Club has been singularly successful in obtaining both the assistance of the University Students in carrying out the work and also in obtaining assistance in the provision of motor car transport and supplies from outside sources.

Pursuant to an arrangement with the Motor Trade Association, a motor car is provided for the use of the Club every Saturday afternoon, and all other cars provided are provided free of charge by sympathisers and garage proprietors.

Students are particularly asked to peruse the published Annual Report of the Club, which may be obtained on application to the Organiser and Secretary.

A certain amount of individual social work has also been accomplished. As a result of a visit which was paid to the home of an invalided cripple, some friends of the Club recently made an effort to raise sufficient funds to purchase a wireless set for this particular patient. The man in question is permanently invalided and unable to leave his bed. The friends referred to have now installed a wireless set in his bedroom which will enable him to hear concerts broadcasted in New Zealand and Australia.

Students are urged to offer their services to the Club in the visiting of the Mental Hospital, and in any other aspect of social work which they may desire to follow. Pull particulars may be obtained from the Organiser, and any communications regarding visits to the Hospital should be addressed to the Organiser. Supplies and motor cars are provided, and students are only asked to give up their Saturday afternoons occasionally, in order to participate in the work.

Various testimonies to the value of the work have been paid from time to time, not only by the Medical Superintendents, but also by the Press and by prominent Social Workers.

Donations to the Club funds will he thankfully received, but the services of students are particularly required.

If there is any particular piece of Social Service work which a group of students desire to pursue, if particulars are furnished to the Club and a list of those willing to do the work is supplied, the effort will be organised, and any new line of Social Service suggested will he undertaken and supported by the Club.