2018 report

Our Stay Well Project continues to grow steadily, with us attending 30 events

this year, and once again connecting with a wide variety of individuals and

organisations to spread our coverage. We have attended events with Beef and

Lamb, Rural Support Trusts (often at A and P Shows) Theland Farms, Pamu

Farms, Young Farmers Clubs, NZ Horticulture Conference, Vetora Field Days,

Primary ITO and Farmlands.

I remained convinced we are doing an important job giving people direction

and connection with the health services they need, especially our rural males

who have often slipped through the net and don’t see themselves needing

regular checkups or further care. There is still a lack of available medical care in

many rural areas, and especially for transient staff this means they have not

got a doctor at all to connect with.

Time management and healthy eating are both requirements of physically

demanding jobs, and both habits are missing for many rural dwellers, in any

age group.

We have come across more people getting professional counselling, which

hopefully shows there is more acceptance and less stigma around seeking this

type of support.

Our Trustees have proved invaluable in their sharing of skills, contacts and

support, and I value their oversight in many ways. A direct result of their

efforts has been major funding from Rabobank, and an opening into the events

they attend throughout the country. I look forward to working with them long

term, and meeting another range of people. A special thanks to our

secretary/treasurer Meredith, who keeps track of so much of the paper work –

we do appreciate your effort.

My team of checkers has grown too, and their openness to new challenges and

venues is often in evidence. Long term I expect we will have more independent

teams functioning within their region, but so far this is happening mainly from

the Waikato base of the project. We will get many of the checkers together in

Te Awamutu in February to refresh their skills, and provide ongoing professional development. It is also a chance to say thank you for the efforts

they make through the year on our behalf. We continue to seek out new improved equipment, and written material to distribute to people we see, from PHO, The Heart Foundation, Diabetes Foundation, Mens Health Trust, and others as appropriate. This may well lead to individuals or their families taking positive action towards better health.

Use of computer technology may lead to easier collation of data, and the

ability for it to be used in future research more easily. We are currently

investigating the most suitable options for our purpose.

We appreciate recognition of our efforts from Te Awamutu Rotary, with

presentation of a Community Award in August. It was good to have their

interest in this way.

Thanks again to the many people who make this project flourish in so many

ways, and I look forward to more positive influence for good health in our rural

communities in the coming year.

Joyce Brown

Project Leader

December 2018