Press Release – Farmlands
Road safety education, signage and bypass areas are just some of the additional safety measures six rural primary schools in the North Island can implement thanks to a $12,000 grant from Farmlands.Rural Kids Will Be Safer After Farmlands Gives $12,000 in Grants
28 March 2012
Road safety education, signage and bypass areas are just some of the additional safety measures six rural primary schools in the North Island can implement thanks to a $12,000 grant from Farmlands.
The schools were excited to receive the money, saying rural schools often came with additional traffic safety issues such as heavy traffic, stock trucks, milk tankers and farm workers in 4WDs. Some also had issues including blindspots and dangerous intersections that were hazardous.
Ruakituri School Principal Diana King said her school was thrilled its application for a $2000 grant was successful.
“Not only has Farmlands given us the opportunity to purchase two neon lights which will solve the problem of a blindspot at our school, but we will also be able to incorporate traffic education as a component of this year’s school camp at Rotorua.”
Elstow-Waihou Combined School (Te Aroha) Principal Shelly Good said thanks to the grant, her school had erected signs warning drivers to take care while entering the school vicinity.
“Our school is on a busy intersection, one of which is a busy road used regularly by motorists to access 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.”
Other successful schools included Matakohe School (Matakohe), Te Wharekura o Ruatoki School (Whakatane), Kai Iwi School (Wanganui) and Manakau School (Levin).
Matakohe School was planning a bigger car parking area for parents to drop children off, to avoid the dangers of fast-moving and heavy vehicles.
Farmlands Innovation and Communications Manager Allister Bathgate said 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.”
Farmlands was overwhelmed with the response to the evenings, with more than 2000 tickets sold during the events and 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.”
With the help of Rural Women New Zealand who managed the application process, 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.
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.”