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Ryman by Annah Stretton uniforms on the catwalk

A team of 30 first-time models stormed the runway at Evelyn Page Retirement Village in Orewa modelling beautiful new uniforms by Annah Stretton.

The Orewa village is the first to get the new uniforms which have been designed to be beautiful as well as functional for Ryman’s 4,000 staff.

Annah Stretton said it had been a great pleasure to design the uniforms for staff working in the aged care industry.

“We wanted garments that brought a smile to the faces of residents, increased the level of pride in what staff wear and emphasized the vital role they play in residents’ lives,’’ Annah Stretton said.

“Eat your heart out Air New Zealand.’’

Stretton has designed new looks for all staff from caregivers and nurses through to gardeners and laundry staff.

Ryman Nurse and first-time model Maggie Doyle, who manages the Dementia Unit at Evelyn Page, said she loved her new look.

“I love the colours - she’s designed something that seems to suit everyone. Our residents love the way we look. I can’t believe I’m wearing a designer dress – to work!’’

Maggie Doyle began training in the days when nurses wore white uniforms, belts and hats.

“We used to look so clinical. These uniforms break down the barriers with residents. We’ve always been approachable but I think these uniforms make us look more so.’’

The uniforms are made of lighter materials for staff working in kitchens and laundries and a popular change was to introduce three-quarter length trousers for caregivers and housekeepers instead of dresses.

Managing director Simon Challies said the uniforms were developed in response to requests from staff. Annah’s designs were a radical departure for Ryman, which is exactly what staff were after.

“We love the designs that Annah’s come up with. The reaction from staff has been tremendous and they’re putting a whole lot of smiles on residents’ faces.’’

The uniforms have been supplied by Lower Hutt-based Arrow Uniforms. Arrow is manufacturing 8,000 uniforms for villages in New Zealand and Australia.

About Ryman: Ryman Healthcare was founded in Christchurch in 1984 and owns and operates 30 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia. Ryman villages are home to 9,000 residents, and the company employs 4,000 staff.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, video footage, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602.

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