It has been a year of change as everyone gets through the Covid pandemic, and
I am humbled at the effort and flexibility of many of our team as we dealt with
changes, sometimes at very short notice.
In January we were busy at Whangamomona Republic Day, a big crowd
attending and we were sheltered from the sun in the Rural Support tent. It
continues to be a good link for both parties and we checked many new faces.
February was a chance to gather for a Checkers Day in Waikato, learn from
sleep expert via Zoom this time, and connect with Waikato Rural Support and
gather more insight in to their work and services.
March saw Northland Field Days cancelled by Covid, but Central Districts Field
Days continued. We also had a team at the South Island Agricultural Field Days
at Kirwee. We were all kept very busy for 3 days, and linked with Canterbury
April it was back in Waikato for 2 dairy events and one with Beef and Lamb
and in May we were finally able to support at Beef and Lamb day in Northland,
as well as their Conference in Palmerston North.
Rabobank welcomed us on their site at the National Field Days, which saw all
our team busy to cover the event. We are invited back to their site in 2022.
SMASH Conference, Landcorp Managers Conference and Beef and Lamb event
in Marlborough saw us busy through the winter too.
From the Managers Conference connections, we were invited to do checks on
the Pamu Farms on Central Plateau in August, which showed just how people
were coping through that busy time of year. Great to see management trying
hard to provide hot meals, regular time off, good warm housing and anything
else helpful to their staff.
I flew to Christchurch mid August ready for our first Canterbury Checkers
Training Day involving 3 speakers, and also 2 events, but on my arrival found
the whole country was in Covid lockdown again, so caught the last flight home
and hunkered down as required. So many people affected, and all were
gracious and understanding of the situation.
Since then all our events have been cancelled or postponed, as Covid levels
take control of our lives. So what started out as possibly our biggest year to
date ended up very quietly. I do keep hold of the fact 96% of the people we
referred to further help have acted on our advice, and are getting treatment or
On a more positive note we have now received confirmation Rabobank are
willing to sponsor us for the next two years, and we will be attending 4 events
annually on their site. These are already being negotiated for 2022.
Three of our checkers have completed the Rural MH101 course on line, and
lately I have completed courses on Vaccine Hesitancy, Covid obligations, and a
Mentemia session with John Kirwan on “how to take a break”. This is part of a
series of practical advice on mental health, with lots of handy tips and
suggestions from leaders and participants.
After consulting with the Trustees and checker team the vast majority consider
vaccine mandate will be necessary for all working on our site. Several event
organisers are requesting this already. So I expect the Trust will ratify the
decision that all checkers are double vaccinated by February 1 st 2022, and have
booster dose as National health advice is receieved.
Special thanks to our Trustees who have often gone the extra mile to follow up
or act promptly when needed. Meredith Mackenzie continues to keep track of
our finances with great accuracy and patience of my requests. Thank you
Karen Phillips has come on board doing voluntary office hours when I get
overloaded which has been very helpful. Thank you Karen.
Warwick Brown has got very good at filling gaps, and helping out in many
ways. Thank you for sharing the vision and its reality.
We will be needing new trustees very soon to oversee the next steps for Stay
Well. Hopefully we can all find our way through Covid, and 2022 will be
smoother for plans and events.
Thanks again to everyone involved. Please know you are much appreciated and
there is still a real need out there in the rural community for what we are
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