How your love and compassion helped a heartbroken young mum. This story is too painful and personal to share the names, so we have changed these, but it shows how important you are to New Zealand’s most heartbroken families. Mary and James moved as close to Auckland as they could afford, because their baby boy has extreme Talipes –severe twisting of the feet.
Pacific families from Auckland, Wellington and Whanganui have taken part in new research to help Plunket improve its services for the Pacific community. Eighty-four families from 9 Pacific ethnicities took part in 12 focus groups with Plunket, sharing their stories and experiences and giving their suggestions for how Plunket could work differently to better meet their needs. Seven key people from Plunket and external agencies with expertise in working with Pacific clients were also interviewed for the research.
After seven years as Chief Executive of the Royal New Zealand Plunket Society, Jenny Prince has announced she will step down from the role in February 2016 to spend more time with her own family. “I’m proud and humbled to lead Plunket. It’s a privilege to work in partnership with New Zealand families and communities to help give their young children the best start in life,” said Jenny Prince.
Around 180 families in Northland are the first in the country to experience the digital future of Plunket’s ‘Well Child Tamariki Ora’ health checks. Thirty-one Plunket frontline health professionals are using tablets equipped with a newly developed Plunket app for the first time, in the homes of New Zealand families from Dargaville to Kaitaia. This is the pilot of the new electronic Plunket Health Record – or ePHR – which is being developed in partnership with Microsoft, Marker Metro and Koorb, to help Plunket improve children’s health outcomes by giving families a more effective service.
Plunket is joining forces with Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori and Te Puni Kōkiri to help families teach their young children te reo. As part of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (27 July-2 August), Plunket is distributing language resources by Te Puni Kōkiri and Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori to help families speak te reo to their young children. Around 3,500 free language resources will be distributed by Plunket nurses and healthworkers across the country during Te Wiki, with a focus on Māori families.
A new Plunket antenatal programme is exceeding all expectations – for the parents taking part and for the volunteers who are the secrets to its success. Hosted by the Johnsonville Plunket Centre, the programme is the brainchild of Sandra Yeldon, a Plunket volunteer and President of the Johnsonville Plunket Committee. Determined to find a sustainable way of funding the increasing costs of operating the centre, Sandra researched and confirmed community demand for a reasonably priced antenatal class.
The Truby King Bequest Society returned to its birthplace in March, with an afternoon tea in Dunedin. Plunket mums, ex-Karitane nurses and ex-Plunket committee members gathered to celebrate our achievements and hear about plans for the future – all aimed at ensuring that Plunket continues to offer the services that new mums and their children need. We welcomed the Society’s 32nd member at a similar event in April, in Palmerston North.
Plunket is supporting three exciting initiatives designed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our children.
Training the babysitters of the future
Through our Education in Schools programme we’ve updated the Plunket Babysitting Certificate course, which teaches potential babysitters how to keep children safe and ultimately be responsible, caring, trustworthy, respectful and competent in their roles. Targeted mainly at students aged 13-14, the course is also sometimes taught as part of after-school programmes and community activities and in Girls’ Brigade and Plunket centres.
Lucy Afemui has been with us for just a few months but she's already making a huge difference for families and children in South Auckland.
Lucy’s passionate about enabling local families to have a voice in decisions that affect them, so soon after she began her role as a Plunket Community Services Team Leader she set about doing just that. She met families, listened to their stories and swung into action to help them get the best possible service from Plunket.
Plunket says World Immunisation Week, which kicks off today (24 April), is a wonderful opportunity to promote the importance of immunisation to communities throughout New Zealand. World Immunisation Week (24-30 April) is a World Health Organization initiative to promote the use of vaccines to protect people of all ages against disease. PlunketLine National Advisor Elaine Gordon says immunisation is a vitally important a tool to protect New Zealand families and communities.