Our Age Connect Champions

Intergenerational Champion

November 26th, 2019

Intergenerational Champions –  these champions are examples of  people in our community who do things that bring the generations together and encourage them to spend time together for mutual benefit.

The winner of this category was Waimea College.

Waimea College have brought joy and knowledge to older people through the AgeConnect Tea & Tech programme. Prinicpal Scott Haines was keen for Waimea College to be involved. On first meeting, Deputy Principal Tony Enoka was hugely supportive and committed to allowing his 100 or so Junior Leaders to participate in Tea & Tech in two retirement villages every month. Tea & Tech only uses 10 students at a time but after seeing it in action, Tony has offered to help out more saying this is one of his young leaders favourite activities. The feedback from the older people they help is that his students are polite, respectful, interested, helpful and fun. To see the different age groups problem solving together is something else. We would like every school in the region to commit to a Tea & Tech programme as Waimea College has done. They saw a need and put their hand up to help. AgeConnect Intergenerational Champions Waimea College .

One Person Makes a Difference

November 7th, 2019

The One Person Makes a Difference Champion category- recognises how one person’s actions can make a big difference to the life of an older person.

The winner of this category was:

Sally Curtis & Tyson the horse  –PetConnect is proving to be a very popular initiative from AgeConnect. Usually it is dogs which visit retirement villages and resthomes, however since November last year Tyson, the Clydesdale horse has visited many resthomes and care facilities, often more than once. For those who come from rural or animal loving backgrounds, the mere sight, the clip clop sounds or smell of a horse can bring a rush of memories and emotions to the fore. It can be a spine tingling, tear inducing experience to share in those moments when Tyson and his owner Sally Curtis of Motueka make their way along a line of chairs, wheelchairs and hospital beds.

Sally Curtis would tell you it’s all Tyson and how SHE is so lucky to have him in her life BUT …. Sally is just as magic to be around as Tyson and it is not only the horse who brings joy to older people in our region ….it is the woman who leads him, who gives her time and her conversation, her heart AND her horse …so freely.

Above and Beyond Champion

October 22nd, 2019

Our Above and Beyond Champions category includes people who do something to an outstanding level or do something that isn’t always part of their job description but these people do it anyway and demonstrate a willingness to go all out to support the older members of our community.

The Winner of this Category was:

Victory Boxing’s Parkinson’s  Programme – this champion’s name is already mentioned alot in our region, for all the right reasons. Paul Hampton and his team have built a reputation for Victory Boxing being a place of positive change in the lives of many of our young people. And that was their core mission. But three year’s ago Paul decided to set up a Parkinson’s Programme to help adults with Parkinson’s Disease, with balance, co-ordination and strength. Twice a week he and his team make an inspiring difference to the health and mental wellbeing of the participants. Victory’s trainers have had specialised training on working with Parkinson’s through Counterpunch with Shane Cameron. The classes are fun, very social and offer a supportive network for the participants. This programme is over and above and amazing and awesome and if you ever get the offer to see it in action, go!

Creating Connections Champion

October 15th, 2019

The finalists in this category include people and organisations who  willingly and consistently do something or provide something that supports older people being able to stay connected with their community.



The finalist were:

Fitzgerald Construction Ltd   – For the second year running Fitzgerald Construction have willingly given free use of their community van to groups taking older people on outings.

SeniorNet –   This amazing group have been helping seniors come to grips with the internet and digital technology for quarter of a century. SeniorNet understand how important these ever advancing technologies will be in our lives and what they can do to help us be better connected.

Gateway Housing Trust’s “The Shed”  –  “The Shed” in Motueka is a mental health support facility which includes support for older people. The Shed has taken the step to provide a free regular weekly morning Tea &Talk event for the older members of the Motueka community. It has been wholeheartedly embraced by the team at the Shed and by those who come to enjoy it.

Nelson West Rotary Club – many of Nelson West Rotary members  are volunteer drivers. Russell Egan has been the driving force behind the Nelson hospital carpark buggy. The Nelson West Rotary drivers also drive for Red Cross and AgeConnect van trips.  They also help run the Age Concern Carfit programme to make sure the set up in a car changes to the changing needs of it’s older driver.


The Winner of this Category was:

Bowater Toyota  – Bowater Toyota are the perfect example of a business whose ethics are so strongly bound in helping the very communities that have helped them succeed, they offer a community van for groups to use.  AgeConnect use it often. The number of crinkly faces that have come back from a trip in that van, beaming…full of hope and excitement, restored with reasons to get up in the morning …well, they are in the thousands now. AgeConnect are not the only ones who have been able to use those wheels to help our older community members. Short trips and long, with Bowater Toyota covering all of the running costs of housing the van, insurances, registration, maintenance, administration (which Tony Bowater does most of himself) a user just needs to leave the petrol tank full.  They help many groups who cannot afford to have their own vehicle to get out.

Outstanding Elder-Friendly Customer Service Champion

October 7th, 2019

Sometimes, as you age, you get out less and less,… who you encounter …and how they treat you becomes very important … and it can affect your own feelings of worth. The champions in this category provide an oustanding level of customer service that supports older customers feeling respected and connected.


Finalists were:

  • St Stephen’s Drop In Cafe & Op Shop
  • Bunnings
  • Hearing Nelson, and
  • Moutere Inn


The category winner was Tasman District Library – Housebound Book Delivery Service.

For years the Housebound book delivery service has delivered outstanding Elder-friendly Customer Service whilst delivering books to those who cannot leave their own homes. Can you imagine what a lifeline of brain stimulation and human contact these visits are for the people who receive them. Although administered by the Tasman District Library this service is run by very dedicated volunteers whose deep caring for their clients is reflected in their customer service. Kath Bartlett, Annette Gill and Judy Beaumont have all been voluntarily delivering books with this service for TEN years.

AgeConnect Friendly Environment Champion

September 17th, 2019

This category was about recognising those who made sure the physical environment  they provided was especially elder-friendly. The winner was Enliven Presbyterian Support Service’s facility for their Harakeke and Totara Day Programmes.   For those who haven’t seen it, this facility offers a carefully planned venue and environment to act as home for the day for older people living with frail health and/or dementia or alzheimers. These people still live in their own homes but the service Harakeke & Totara provide often gives the carers and families time out from the demands that a high level of care can require. Great forward planning and understanding the needs of older people has resulted in safe, secure, comfortable lounges and a friendly kitchen and dining area, both of which open onto a beautiful fenced garden area with shade sails and social seating. This venue is welcoming and provides perfectly for it’s users. Well done Presbyterian Support Services

Age Concern Nelson Tasman

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