Our Age Connect Champions

The Tasman District Library – Housebound Book Delivery Service

March 3rd, 2020

The Tasman District Library – Housebound Book Delivery Servicewon the Outstanding Elder-friendly Customer Service at the 2019 Champions Awards. 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.

NB: Nominations for AgeConnect Champions is ongoing so if you would like to nominate someone click on this link.

Magic FM People’s Choice Champion

January 9th, 2020

Magic FM People’s Choice Champion : These are the champions  that you, the public, left us in no doubt add value to the lives of older people in our community. This year the nominations came in thick and fast, so thank you MediaWorks Nelson for helping to spread the word.


The Winner of this Category was:

  • Sport Tasman, Richmond Town Hall’s Mary-Ann McNatty and Anna Kuipers 

One nomination said “Anna keeps us all fit with her exercise classes. She selects exercise music very carefully so that us oldies really enjoy. Anna also organizes regular outings to places of interest in the region.”

Other speak of Mary-Ann’s effervescent personality and caring nature. Her determination to adapt the exercises or equipment so as to encourage disabled people to be able join too.

Mary Ann manages the facility and between them, Mary- Ann and Anne run fitness classes for the 65+ groups, movies, all kids of activites and social outings with Club 60+.

To quote a nominator again “They are great, friendly people who make for a great day out and help me make new friends.”

60+ Employer of the Year

December 9th, 2019

60+ Employer of the Year – This is an award for a business who has been acknowledged as recognizing the desire of many to continue to work past retirement age, to see value in an older employees experience and work ethics. These businesses willingly not only retain but employ staff who are over the age of 60.

The winner of this Category was Fulton Hogan LTD

Many men who retire will tell you, they miss the sense of purpose that employment gave them and the comradery of their workmates. AgeConnect first noticed the healthy age of some of the Fulton Hogan team, who were working on the Nelson Airport redevelopment.

After meeting with Paul O’Meara, the area manager, AgeConnect discovered that a number of their staff were celebrating significant milestones of employment with Fulton Hogan. In fact one was a 43th anniversary and a large party had been held to mark it as that employee stepped from fulltime to casual employment. Fulton Hogan’s recognition and support of staff retention into retirement is great but we also heard of men who had approached them post retirement “looking for something to do” with their days. Fulton Hogan’s willingness to not let age be any barrier to employment was a wonderful thing to hear. AgeConnect looks forward to more employers in the region starting to appreciate and aging workforce and think as they do.

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!

Age Concern Nelson Tasman

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