Friday, February 23, 2024

Summer’s the time for Checking-in

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Agri-Women’s Development Trust and partners present a programme of events and tools to boost rural wellbeing.
‘This is a challenging time for our farmers, growers, fishers and other rural people,’ the Agri-Women’s Development Trust says.
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A new collaborative rural wellbeing recovery project, Checking-in, intends to help rural communities across the North Island to come together through a series of in-person events and programmes this summer. 

“This is a challenging time for our farmers, growers, fishers and other rural people,” Lisa Sims of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust said.

“Making time to pause to check in on each other and focus on our personal and family wellbeing is key. That’s why several rural organisations have come together to deliver Checking-in, a series of community events and online tools and tips for connection and resilience in a tough season. 

“Building-back is a marathon, not a sprint. We’ll need a few breaks along the way. Checking-in is all about making these breaks easy, fun and informative.” 

Rural people can find local events and sign up for a tools & tips email series at

Making time to pause to check in on each other is key, says Lisa Sims of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust

Headlining the project are a series of community get-togethers, events and personal development programmes across the North Island, including AWDT YOU Matter programmes, Rural Women NZ supporting community Christmas events, Farmstrong Comedy events and more. 

The Checking-in tools & tips email series, delivered weekly, is a 15-part series of short videos is about making the hard stuff manageable – like supporting young people through challenging  times, managing emotions and enjoying the good times.

 The series features rural leaders and resilience experts, including:

• Sandra Matthews, a Tairāwhiti sheep and beef farmer and community leader 

• Steve Kearney, chief mental health officer for the NZ Defence Force 

• Michelle Ruddell, Ngati Tūwharetoa, dairy farmer and chair of the Northland Rural Support Trust 

• Dr Lucy Hone, director of the NZ Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience 

Checking-in is run by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust, Rural Women NZ and Farmstrong, with support from the Rural Support Trust. The project is funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries as part of the North Island Weather Event response. It is a follow-on project from The Big Check-in – an online evening of support for rural people held post-cyclone in May 2023. 

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