PEEEP works with marginalised individuals, many of whom may be unemployed or may suffer from social or psychological difficulties. We aim to empower these people to overcome their difficulties by improving their well-being, self-esteem and skill set through involving them, on a voluntary basis, in the environmental enhancement work PEEEP undertakes.
How does becoming a PEEEP volunteer help?
We believe that being an active member of our PEEEP team is an empowering experience for our volunteers. It not only provides them with new skills plus a sense of purpose and belonging, but also improves their self-worth through the knowledge that the environmental activities in which they are engaged contribute to the well-being of the wider community, by making the local surroundings a more desirable place in which to live.
Our belief is supported by research and anecdotal evidence, which indicates that working in a voluntary capacity may produce a number of positive outcomes irrespective of the fact that there is no financial reward:
- Volunteering, especially if it involves learning something new, develops new skills and may lead to new job opportunities
- Having a job to go to provides structure in a person’s day and creates a sense of purpose and belonging
- Volunteering time to provide benefits for others creates a feeling of personal fulfilment
- Research has shown that volunteering for a good cause can increase happiness more than getting financially rewarded.
- The environmental work our volunteers undertake means that they are engaging in regular exercise which in itself has many benefits. Exercise can help to improve learning, memory, concentration, organisation and reasoning skills; it may even stimulate brain cell regeneration.
- Research also suggests that contact with nature may help to improve health and well-being, plus reduce stress and illness.
- Eating healthily can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health. As part of our PEEEP programme we provide our participants with a nutritious meal once a week. In winter this is a soup lunch which at present we are extremely grateful to our Chairperson, Janet Roberts, for preparing.
- Our PEEEP volunteers work alongside our supervisors and other volunteers to undertake our environmental work. This means that they learn the benefits of working as a team including:
- A greater sense of accomplishment since working together enables so much more to be achieved than when individuals work alone
- Mutual support and encouragement from other members of the team
- A greater sense of self-worth through recognition of their role in contributing to the achievements made by the team
PEEEP’s Environmental Work
PEEEP is engaged in a number of regular ongoing activities within the community:
- PEEEP maintains beach ladder access-ways from Bottlelake Plantation to the spit in Southshore. We also maintain the sand dune walktrack and undertake dune stabilisation work. This work is undertaken for the Christchurch City Council Coast Care programme.
- Since 2000 PEEEP has undertaken graffiti removal in eastern Christchurch as part of the Christchurch City Council Graffiti Removal Programme. Our PEEEP team has dealt with many thousands of graffiti incidents over this time.
- PEEEP undertakes grounds maintenance in the Spencer Park area.
- PEEEP provides grounds maintenance and landscaping work at numerous NZ Care properties in various parts of the city.
- PEEEP provides gardening and other handyman activities on a charitable basis to various groups within the community including other non-profit organisations, schools, churches, pre-schools. We also offer this service to vulnerable individuals and families in genuine need, at little but mostly no cost.