Next week (2-8 March) is Plunket’s Annual ‘Bear Hug’ Appeal and Plunket volunteers are getting out and about to raise funds for local and regional services for children and their families. Plunket has been welcomed into the homes of New Zealand families for over 100 years - giving New Zealand parents the support they need to nurture healthy, happy kiwi babies.
To keep Plunket services going, volunteers are once again fundraising in a range of ways across the country – from taking to the streets with Plunket mascot ‘Big Blue’ for a street collection, through to Teddy Bear picnics where people can make a gold coin donation while joining in the fun.
Plunket welcomes the Wellington City Council’s announcement today, committing to becoming accredited as a UNICEF Child Friendly City. Wellington is the second New Zealand city to commit to the initiative, with Whangerei first to sign up in 2014. Stephanie Shennan, Plunket’s General Manager Community Development and Volunteers, described Child Friendly Cities as a great way to develop the safe, vibrant and green neighbourhoods that support children to make a healthy start.
In March 120 team members from The Warehouse will embark on a cycle relay the length of New Zealand (2,213km) to raise funds for Plunket Playgroups. Pedal for Plunket, kicks off in Cape Reinga on Wednesday 4 March, crossing the Cook Strait on the Bluebridge Ferry on Thursday 12 March and then finishing in Bluff on Tuesday 17 March. Plunket and The Warehouse are encouraging Kiwis to support the ride by adding a dollar to their purchase at The Warehouse stores nationwide (from 4 March), visiting http://pedalforplunket.
From the time their first teeth cut through, young children around the country are at risk of early childhood caries; a common oral health disease. This February, Colgate, Plunket and the New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) are working together again to promote healthy oral hygiene habits throughout New Zealand. In a bid to combat early childhood caries, also known as tooth decay and cavities, Colgate is continuing to donate a toothbrush and toothpaste to be provided to every new Plunket baby at their five month visit, along with important education on how to brush and care for their teeth.