Otago Polytechnic
Union Street Milton John C Bullas CC BY NC ND 2.0

Our Occupational Therapy students carried out two initiatives in partnership with a community organisation.

Project Bruce is a community-led development scheme focussed on enhancing Milton and surrounding small communities in South Otago. The organisation is building resilience and resourcefulness through connecting people and groups, and organising workshops, training, activities and events.

Two teams of Occupational Therapy students have been working with Project Bruce. Two students, Christy Barron and Meg Hodgson, supported the fledgling Milton MenzShed, where people can gather to pursue their hobbies, use their skills to make things for the community, and enjoy social interaction at the same time. Christy and Meg helped raise awareness of the MenzShed through media and an open day on 7 November 2019. They also initiated a campaign to gather tools and safety equipment for the MenzShed.

The second group, Rachel Lester & Sinead O’Leary-Burrow, organised Milton Free Day, on Sunday 10 November 2019. The object was to bridge the gap between people and local services, but they also wanted to help meet necessities and connect the community at an inclusive free event. During the Milton Free Day many local businesses provided services for free. Donated baking, books and stationery were also available for free, and a bike fixing station was arranged. The event was a success with over 200 attendees. Feedback indicated they loved the community feel of the event and the opportunities that the event provided.

February 2020

Image credit: John C Bullas, used under Creative Commons licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0