Does your community service or organisation have an activity or wellbeing goal it would like help to achieve?  

Look no further! Our third-year occupational therapy learners undertake community projects as part of their Fieldwork 5 (FW5) course. They can provide some extra energy, effort and professional reasoning and practical skills to help your organisation accomplish its goals.  

Projects could include: 

  • Developing and/or facilitating an event for community groups. 
  • Developing a resource or reviewing current resources to make it more accessible. 
  • Scoping report e.g., reviewing available resources or service provision. 
  • Review of accessibility to services or environments. 


To be part of this initiative your project needs a health, disability, wellness, or social support focus – where the primary aim is to increase people’s participation in activities. The work needs to be completed within the 8-week timeframe (Sept-Nov). 


How occupational therapy students can help: 

Occupational therapists have professional skills outside of the traditional illness and recovery practice areas into wellness, adaptive activities and occupational justice to enable greater inclusion and participation for groups or populations of people in everyday life. These community projects give our students experience in these areas to complement their clinical fieldwork experiences.  

Previous projects have included: 

  • Review community garden and school based garden access and involvement. 
  • Collaboration with Read Share Grow and promoting reading to young learners and their whanau. 
  • Development of occupation packs for Health Improvement Practitioners. 
  • Design of adapted physical activity space and resources in a school setting. 
  • Application of dementia design principles and universal design to building projects. 
  • Development and delivery of workshops and resources targeting independent living skills for students new to tertiary learning and/or transitioning to flatting. 


What the students will do: 

Small groups of learners (minimum two students up to maximum of ten) will work alongside your organisation to plan, facilitate and evaluate a project that will meet your community need. In liaison with your organisation’s contact person, they will establish clear project objectives and a plan to deliver them within the timeframe of the 8-week course. 

On completion, the learners will be evaluated on their planning, the work they undertook and the extent to which the completed project meets your needs. Your organisation will receive a completion report from the students, in addition to any output specific to the project (if applicable). 


Your role as community partner: 

You will have an understanding of your own requirements and a willingness to work with learners to help achieve these outcomes. This project requires learners to work in partnership with agencies and organisations, helping them meet their needs.  


If you are an organisation selected for the community project, you will: 

  • Allocate a contact person who can make decisions and make things happen. 
  • Be available to the learners during their planning process. 
  • Know what your budget is for the project (which does not include learners’ or lecturers’ time). This could be financial, resources or in-kind support. 
  • Contribute to the project evaluation and each learner’s evaluation. 
  • Attend a presentation from the learners about the project outcome. 


Occupational Therapy School-based project support: 

In addition, a lecturer from the School of Occupational Therapy oversees each project to help ensure things go smoothly. The lecturer is available for advice and support and will provide on-campus supervision for the learners. They are responsible for evaluating the learners’ performance alongside your contact person. 


Interested? Next steps… 

Make contact with the closest coordinator (see below) with an initial description of your potential project. They will get back in touch with you to discuss this with you. Projects are needed to be confirmed by August for inclusion in our final selection of projects.  


Fieldwork 5 (FW5) Course Coordinators: 

Ōtepoti | Dunedin  

Kirikiriroa | Hamilton