The second Great New Zealand Tractor Trek is arriving in Napier on Saturday 24 February in a bid to raise funds and awareness for Cranford Hospice.
Led by Trek Founder Phil Aish, a cavalcade of tractors, jeeps and trucks is travelling over 2,600km from Bluff to Cape Reinga from 12 February to 9 March and will visit towns along the way. The trek will be joined by participants from various towns as they make their way north.
Locals are invited to welcome the trekkers on their arrival and check out the tractor line up on Saturday 24 February, between 4pm and 8pm, at Kennedy Park Resort in Napier.
“We look forward to welcoming Phil and the group to Hawke’s Bay” says Cranford Hospice CEO Janice Byford-Jones.
“We invite the public to come down and meet the tractor drivers and check out those tractors up close” says Janice.
“Children can shoot hoops with some players from the Taylor Hawks basketball team, play on the playground, jump on the giant jumping pillow or bounce on the trampoline” says Cranford Hospice Marketing and Fundraising Manager Nathalie van Dort. “While the parents can enjoy a picnic or buy some food at the onsite food trucks” Nathalie continues.
The Trek is a labour of love for Phil Aish, who did a similar Trek in 2016 to honour a promise made to his wife Janice in her last weeks of life. Phil and Janice wanted to say thank you to Hospice for the immeasurable support Mercy Hospice in Auckland provided the Aish family during Janice’s last days. When discussing the practicalities of such a Trek, Janice told him to ‘do it’.
“You can’t put a price on having the burden of care lifted off your shoulders when someone close to you has a life-limiting condition. Hospices in towns all over New Zealand provide people and their families with a very special type of care and support. Our family didn’t know it existed until we needed it. I want other families to know that these amazing services are being provided in their own communities, so they have an opportunity to acknowledge and support them in any way they can,” says Phil.
In the 2018 Trek, Phil, along with supporters, friends and family hope to collect at least $100,000, the same amount raised during the 2016 Trek. All donations go directly to hospice services.
Hospices aim to help people with life-limiting conditions to make the most of their lives; to live every moment in whatever way is important to them. Hospice care has a unique whole person approach, which means physical, spiritual, emotional and social needs are all equally important. A multidisciplinary team provides care to a person who is dying as well as their families and friends both before and after death.
Cranford Hospice has inpatient facilities, but the majority of people are cared for in their own homes. Cranford Hospice is firmly grounded in the community with more than 400 people volunteering for Cranford Hospice each year.
Hospice NZ CEO, Mary Schumacher, says “Phil and the team behind The Great NZ Tractor Trek capture the hearts of people across the country– it’s such a wonderful way to raise awareness of hospice services in local communities”. Hospices receive some funding from the Government, but financial support from the community is essential to meet the shortfall each year. “We’re so grateful to people like Phil and his supporters who help ensure hospice care remains free of charge across New Zealand”, says Mary.
Each participant will fund their own trip, with each town providing the trekkers a place to stay and refuel. People can also support the work of Hospice by donating to the Tractor Trek NZ 2018 at https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/the-great-nz-tractor-trek-2018.
16 February 2018
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