Family fun and cycle safety in South receives support

5 August, 2019

ILT Foundation trustees Paddy O’Brien and Suzanne Prentice (right) with Plunket Invercargill injury prevention programmes manager Kathryn Impelmans (left) and community support co-ordinator Judy Cook and Olly Birrell (5) have some fun in Plunket Invercargill’s playground. Photo: Petrina Wright

About the community group/organisation/individual 

Plunket is a provider of free support services for the development, health and wellbeing of children under five throughout New Zealand. 

Staff provide support and information for parents as well as developmental assessments of young children through home visits, clinic visits and PlunketLine, a free telephone advice service for parents. It also organises parent groups, toy libraries, drop in centres and playgroups. 

What the grant went towards 

The Invercargill Licensing Trust and ILT Foundation approved combined grants of $15,000 towards Plunket Invercargill’s Seen and Safe helmet and vest programme and its annual Teddy Bears Picnic event. 

The Teddy Bears Picnic is an event for Southland families hosted by Plunket at Queens Park, Invercargill, which attracts hundreds of people every year. 

During WellChild nurse home visits, staff talk to parents and their children about safety and offer them the opportunity to receive a free hi vis vest and cycle helmet.  When families come into the Plunket offices to receive the vest and helmet, they were also offered the opportunity to have their car seat checked by staff to ensure it was fitted properly. 

Since the programme’s inception about 10 years ago about 8500 vests and helmets had been distributed to families in Southland and more than 10,000 car seats checked. 

 What the grant means to the community group/organisation 

Plunket Invercargill community support co-ordinator Judy Cook said the aim of the Teddy Bears Picnic was to provide a opportunity for families to connect and have a relaxed time together. 

“It’s a wonderful to have this support from the ILT Foundation so we can continue to provide such a fun and family-friendly event for the community,” she said. 

Plunket Invercargill injury prevention programmes manager Kathryn Impelmans said the funding for the Seen and Safe programme gave Plunket the opportunity to teach children good road safety behaviours at a time when they were the most keen to learn.