A Levin school has managed to donate a handsome sum of money to charity through their participation in the William Pike Challenge.

Fairfield School students Christian Harvey, Felix O'Neil and James Dunsmore are part of school group that raised $378.60 for Parkinsons New Zealand and handed over an envelope of money to the organisation last week.

There were 39 students involved and to achieve the award they had to complete 20 hours of community service, a 20-hour "passion project", and five outdoor activities.

Recipients of the community service aspect included SPCA, foodbanks, Huha, baking for emergency service volunteers, helping at the local pet shop, volunteering at early childhood centres, Salvation Army, and even washing teachers' cars.


Teacher Amy Burns said the aim was to get the student's out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves.

Felix O'Neil said he was glad he took part.

"I never thought I would go to Kāpiti Island and have the opportunities we've been given," he said.

Ashley Swain said he chose a food drive as a way of helping families in need.

"I made a sign saying 'please, can you help?' and posted it on the local Pay It Forward page. I also got donations from friends, family and went door knocking in my neighbourhood too," he said.

He returned to those houses with thank you cards.

Parkinsons community educator Katherine Wilkinson said her organisation was grateful for the donation from the students gained through fundraising ventures they came up with themselves.

"We are really delighted to receive money from these young students who have given their time and creativity to such a great cause," she said.


"We can't thank them enough for their generous donation."

Parkinsons New Zealand is a not-for-profit organisation and a large portion of the funds donated goes towards salaries and expenses of community educators, who are registered nurses.

"I've been working in Horowhenua with more than 50 clients and family members for Te Horo to Foxton for 12 months," she said.

"I have been pleased to assist both newly diagnosed clients and those who have lived with the disease for many years. Clients range in age from early 40s to those aged 80 and older.

Wilkinson said Parkinsons Disease is a whole brain disease and symptoms are different for each person with their day-to-day tasks. Many people require support, so the organisation welcomed anyone dealing with the disease.

"We visit people in their homes and offer education around mediation and management and supports available, communicate with doctors, specialists and physiotherapists and also hold monthly local support group meetings."

There is also a focus on the benefits of regular exercise which is almost as important as medication, she said.

William Pike was a New Zealander who lost his leg when Mount Ruapehu erupted. Crushed an critically injured, his friend James Christie ran for help.

Doctors told him it was a miracle he survived, although his right leg was amputated below the knee. Since then, he had become a motivational speaker sharing his life story.

In 2010 he developed the William Pike Challenge Award, aimed at growing resilience and confidence. He had also written a book, Every Day is a Good Day.