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Farmlands Awards Safety Grant: Elstow-Waihou Combined School

Farmlands Awards Elstow-Waihou Combined School with Safety Grant

28 March 2012

Elstow-Waihou Combined School pupils have been busy planning exactly how they’ll spend a $2000 grant from Farmlands for road and safety traffic equipment at the school.

School Principal, Shelly Good, says the school has used the grant to erect their own signage on Tautiti and Ngutumunga Roads, asking motorists to take care while entering the school vicinity.

“Our school is situated on a busy intersection, one of which is a busy road used regularly for motorists to access the eastern beaches. As all our students travel to school by bus or private transport, the lack of signage warning motorists about the school in a 100kph zone poses quite a threat.”

She says the students were thrilled that their application was successful and they are extremely grateful to Farmlands.

“We have had the signs made, received permission from the farmers whose land they’ll be on, and now our Board members will begin the work of erecting them”, says Shelly.

The Te Aroha school is one of six rural primary schools throughout the North Island to receive the grant.

The money was raised from ten ‘Ladies Nights’ fun events held by Farmlands in rural areas in October last year.

“We completed a very successful series with the help of guest speaker Jackie O’Fee – The Style Doctor. She gave our ladies a comical and practical view on what your clothes say about you”, says Farmlands Innovation and Communications Manager, Allister Bathgate.

Run with support from Rural Women New Zealand, Farmlands was overwhelmed with the response to the evenings. Ticket sales were just over 2100 for the series, with some venues selling out.

Choosing a relevant and meaningful focus for the grants was another reason for the programme’s success, explains Allister.

“Traffic safety is always front of mind for rural schools, with many located on busy roads or in situations with poor visibility and no footpaths. The chance to receive some extra funding in areas like this is very welcome to schools when their rolls and communities are smaller.”

More than 100 schools applied for the grants. They needed to be a North Island rural school with a roll of 300 pupils or less and able demonstrate a need for additional road safety resources. Rural Women New Zealand managed the application process.

The other schools to receive grants were: Matakohe School, Te Wharekura o Ruatoki School (Whakatane), Ruakitura School (Wairoa), Kai Iwi School (Wanganui) and Manakau School (Levin).

Established in 1962, Farmlands is a cooperative rural retailer with 47 branches across the North Island. This is the second year that the Ladies Night programme has been successfully run and it is now an annual event.

“Last year the grants were given to rural schools for the purpose of creating extra shade. We’re hoping to continue with these fundraising events to provide grants for another yet-to-be decided project to assist deserving rural schools.”


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