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Ryman residents and staff raise $300,000 for New Zealand Red Cross

Residents and staff at Ryman Healthcare’s 30 retirement village raised a record $300,000 for New Zealand Red Cross.

The New Zealand Red Cross has just celebrated its centenary and a variety of events have been held all around New Zealand to raise funds.

Ryman Deputy Managing Director Gordon MacLeod said the Red Cross had struck a chord with residents and staff alike.

“We had great feedback when we selected the Red Cross that it had touched the lives of many of our residents and their families. From prisoner-of-war parcels through to meals-on-wheels and disaster relief after the Canterbury earthquakes, the Red Cross is always there. The Red Cross has been a magnificent charity partner and it is clear that our residents, staff and the wider community have taken Red Cross to heart and celebrated with the charity in its centenary year.’’

Ryman Healthcare’s staff and residents raised $150,000, and the company matched their efforts dollar for dollar, taking the grand total to $300,000.

A separate emergency appeal was also launched in February after Cyclone Winston and another $93,000 was raised for Red Cross to send to Fiji.

New Zealand Red Cross Secretary General Tony Paine thanked Ryman staff and residents.

“It’s been incredible to see the generosity of Ryman Healthcare staff and residents over the past year, so much hard work put in by so many is extremely humbling. To have such great support while Red Cross celebrates100 years of helping in dire times shows humanitarianism is as significant now as it was 100 years ago. This massive contribution to our work will allow Red Cross to continue to be there when needed.”

In Australia Ryman’s first Melbourne village also took part in the fundraising, and raised $6,500 for the Australian Red Cross.

Ryman has picked a charity partner for the past 16 years and in that time has donated $2.1 million for various charities. Each year the company matches the amount raised by residents and staff dollar for dollar.

This year’s charity partner is the Heart Foundation’s Clinical Fellowship. All the funds raised will be used to support a three-year clinical fellowship, Gordon MacLeod said.

“We were delighted to be able to support this proposal because it is a really innovative approach to funding research. We are fundraising to support a lot of hard work that will fill a gap in the research database and also benefit our residents at the same time. It was a standout proposal for us.’’

The money raised will fund a three-year clinical research programme identifying the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) within Ryman Healthcare facilities.

The idea came from an approach to Ryman Healthcare and the Heart Foundation from the Christchurch Heart Institute, a leading cardiovascular research group based at the University of Otago, Christchurch campus.

A clinical researcher at the Christchurch Heart Institute will collect data from volunteer residents at Ryman villages. The plan is to survey at least 1000 residents, collecting clinical data and testing them for signs of heart disease.

Residents who take part will be able to learn more about their health and possible cardiovascular risks, and know that they are contributing to a significant national research project.

Heart Foundation Medical Director Gerry Devlin said the charity was thrilled to receive Ryman Healthcare’s support.

“This is a really important study because there’s currently a concerning lack of information about the CVD burden in New Zealand’s elderly population.

“This is especially true for the setting of the aged care/retirement facility sector, which is under constant pressure given our ageing population.”

About Ryman Healthcare: Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns 30 villages and serves over 9,000 residents in New Zealand and Australia. Each village offers a combination of retirement living and aged care.

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

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