Press Release – Solid Energy NZ
Solid Energy this week donated sunhats to all 450 children enrolled at 10 kōhanga reo and early childhood centres near the company’s Huntly coal mines. A biennial event and part of Solid Energy’s community support programme, distributing the …Solid Energy/Cancer Society media release
15 November 2011
Solid Energy donates 450 sunhats to Huntly early childhood centres
Solid Energy this week donated sunhats to all 450 children enrolled at 10 kōhanga reo and early childhood centres near the company’s Huntly coal mines. A biennial event and part of Solid Energy’s community support programme, distributing the New Zealand Cancer Society-approved sunhats during SunSmart week helps increase sun safety awareness with the children.
“Health and safety is an integral part of our business and being ‘Sun Smart’ is important in New Zealand, especially for youngsters who are far more susceptible to burning and developing cancers like melanoma later in life,” says Stephen Esposito, Solid Energy’s General Manager of Opencast Mines.
The programme has been well received by the centres involved as many follow a “no hat, no play” policy, choosing to keep the donated hats onsite and available for children to use when playing outside. Hats are also provided for centre staff to wear as positive “Sun Smart” models.
This year the children were introduced to Cancer Society SunSmart mascot, Undercover Cody — the coolest SunSmart turtle in the country, when Jane Marsden, Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society Health Promoter accompanied Solid Energy representatives when distributing the hats. Undercover Cody uses dance, rhyme and mime to teach children how to be smart in the sun.
SunSmart awareness is not just for youngsters. Solid Energy staff members who work outside wear long sleeves and trousers, and are encouraged to wear brimmed hard hats and sunscreen. Skin cancer claims nearly 400 lives a year in New Zealand, with a majority of cases being preventable through simple skin protection such as wearing hats, sunglasses, SPF30+ sunscreen and shielding clothing.