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Loading up .. Waitaki Boys' High School pupils Luke Buchanan (16) and Callan Brownlie (18) prepare to set off for their Meals on Wheels run last Monday. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

A group of Waitaki Boys’ High School pupils took a short break from their studies last week to help a local service many older people rely on.

From Monday to Friday, 10 pupils, with Waitaki Boys’ High School SPEC teacher Sonja Edmondston as driver, delivered 25 meals to local residents for Meals on Wheels.

Two pupils helped out each day, starting their central North End run by picking up meals at Oamaru Hospital.

The school got involved when Grant Yockney, who helps organise Meals on Wheels runs, had trouble filling his roster when several regular volunteers were out of town, sick or not available.

He put a plea out on Facebook, to which Mrs Edmondston responded.

She said she was only too happy to round up a group to assist.

“The boys are studying for the New Zealand certificate for skills for life. We saw there was a need, so we thought it would be a good way of giving back to the community.

“It’s great to see these young men willing to give back to the community.

“I think all the boys have older people in their families, so it’s about them thinking about how they can support other older people in the community . it’s certainly something we’d like to continue.”

Luke Buchanan (16) was one of the pupils delivering meals last week and said he was proud to be helping in the community.

Mr Yockney said he was grateful Mrs Edmondston put her hand up to assist.

“I thought ‘gee, that’s wonderful, actually’, particularly getting kids like that involved in helping out in the community. It was a real bonus.”

He said local Meals on Wheels volunteers were not getting any younger and that it could be difficult to fill rosters.

Staff from LJ Hooker Oamaru filled in for two weeks, while offers also came from Z Energy Oamaru and other individuals.