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Cookie time . . The boarders at Rosmini House have baked more than 300 chocolate chip biscuits for the firemen in Nelson. From left are St Peter's College pupils Anderson Lee (15), Connor Swain (13) and Jennifer Reidt (17), hostel supervisor Claire Wards and Gore High School pupil Natalia McKay (13).PHOTO: JENNY DILLNER

“Paying it forward” is what St Peter’s Rosmini House supervisor Claire Wards wants to implant in children’s psyches.

“Being in charge of activities for the boarders in the hostel, I wanted to encourage the children to help in community matters,” Mrs Ward said.

“We look for a project to volunteer or help in the community each term.

“I come from a background of ‘pay it forward’ and I want to make a difference in these kids’ lives.

“Even if one child remembers this in 50 years’ time, my influence has been successful,” Mrs Wards said.

The Nelson fires, covering 2400ha, were of national interest at the moment.

A lot of the children came from farming backgrounds and understood the fires were affecting animals, native bush and wildlife, Mrs Wards said.

“To encourage teamwork and goodwill, the baking of the biscuits seemed like a great idea.

“Hence that has been the chosen project for this term.”

Using her mother’s chocolate chip biscuit recipe, the children had been busy baking and packaging the treats to send to the firefighters in Nelson, Mrs Wards said.

“Who doesn’t like a home-made chocolate chip biscuit?

“We even have New Zealand Couriers willing to deliver the biscuits for free.

“I would love to think I have made a difference in their attitude towards helping others and to think outside the square.”