Methven Care Trust - News


Trust funds hit $1million mark

Sue van den Heuvel - Wednesday, April 11, 2018

After surpassing the $1million mark, the fundraising team behind Methven Care Trust is feeling more confident about its goal of rebuilding the town's community-run resthome.

Three significant, anonymous donations of $200,000, $100,000 and $100,000 in the first quarter of this year saw funds raised to date increase to just over $1million.  Another close to $20,000 should arrive next month from the trust's raffle of a Hyundai car, Methven Care Trust chairwoman Joanna Suyker says.

"The trust has worked tirelessly to reach this point and we'd like to pause and thank our supporters and the wider Methven community for getting us here.  It's no small feat raising $1million in this economic climate and we've been told the first million dollars is the hardest.  We especially would like to thank the three anonymous donors who contributed significant amounts this year.  It's a real show of faith in our project and we're very grateful for this boost."

Methven Care Trust is a fundraising group set up by the Methven Aged Persons Welfare Association (MAPWAI) to raise funds for, and oversee, the building of a new aged care facility for Methven.  Trustees have been drawn from the Methven and foothills community and work alongside Methven Care Trust fundraising co-ordinator Sue van den Heuvel to deliver fundraising initiatives hand-in-hand with the community.  The trust's goal is to replace the existing community-run resthome Methven House within the next few years.  The estimated cost is $5.5million.

There is an urgent need to replace Methven House as the building is rapidly reaching the end of its useable life, says Joanna Suyker.

"Methven House has served us well for 40 years but it certainly won't last another 40.  It's vital we attract sufficient funds so we can get on with building a new facility that will care for the elderly in our district," she says.

Recent fundraising activity includes a raffle for a Hyundai car which will be drawn late May.  With only 400 tickets on sale at $100 each, punters across Ashburton District have embraced the opportunity to win a car at such good odds, says Joanna Suyker.

The raffle was launched at the Methven A&P show last month and tickets can be purchased from Primo-E-Secundo Café, Hammer Hardware, FarmSource and RuralCo in Methven.

Other funds this year have come frm the Landrover 70th anniversary celebrations, leasing of land for farming activities and a lily fundraiser initiated by Sue Duff's childcare operation.  More fundraising ventures are being sought from the community.

Methven Care Trust will build the new aged care facility on gifted land in the town's Camrose Estate.  More details are available via the fundraising co-ordinator Sue van den Heuvel on, the trust's Givealittle page or via the website.

Pictured (left to right):  Janine Holland (trustee), Joanna Suyker (Chairperson), Sue van den Heuvel ready to update the fundraising signage in the Methven Mall

Sir Graeme Harrison joins Methven Care Trust

Sue van den Heuvel - Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sir Graeme Harrison has been confirmed to join Methven Care Trust as a Trustee.  Joanna Suyker, MCT Chairperson, said “we are delighted that Sir Graeme has accepted our invitation to join the trust, having someone of this calibre join our team just shows the support that Methven Care Trust has in our community”.

Born in Methven, Graeme returned as a resident in 2010 with his wife Barbara after an absence of 45 years.  In the intervening years he went to university in New Zealand and the United Kingdom, spent 13 years based overseas, founded one of New Zealand’s leading export businesses and represented the country and his business on numerous trade missions and in international forums.

Graeme was the inaugural Chairman of the New Zealand International Business Forum for 8 years, served on national bodies such as the New Zealand-China Council, and has a number of current involvements with Lincoln University.  He has long been associated with the New Zealand meat industry and has held company governance roles for extended periods in seafood and dairy.

Graeme has been honoured by the Governments of New Zealand (2011) and Japan (2015).  In 2010 he was named Federated Farmers Agribusiness person of the year and in 2016 he received the Rabobank Australia and New Zealand Leadership Award.

Graeme’s parents, Kath and Tom Harrison, were residents of Methven House.

Along with Chairperson Joanna Suyker, Graeme joins existing Trustee’s Janine Holland, Jan Anderson, Colin Lill and Roger Henderson. 

Childcare @ Sue's - fundraising with the kids

Sue van den Heuvel - Monday, February 12, 2018

WOW - check out these awesome photo's of Sue Duff and some of her children from 'Childcare @ Sue's'.

Sue and her kids planted, nurtured and then sold over a hundred bunches of lillies over the Christmas and holiday season to fundraise for Methven Care Trust - what a bunch they are!! ha

Jo Suyker, our Methven Care Trust Chairperson, was invited to join Sue and her kids in their 'Secret Garden' here in Methven to be presented with a cheque to the value of $1,000.00.  Sue was so proud of her children's efforts that she rewarded them with a big slice of chocolate cake for afternoon tea following the presentation - happy smiles all round.

Another successful Czech Cookie Fundraiser

Sue van den Heuvel - Thursday, January 18, 2018

Baking, packaging and distributing 317 boxes of festive cookies all for our fundraising cause, now that's an example of true community Christmas spirit!  That's exactly what, for the second year in a row, a group of enthusiastic Czech Republic friends undertook again to show their support of Methven Care Trust.

Vendy Snajdrova is the driver of this unique idea and co-ordinated sourcing supplies and friends.  Thanks to the Methven Heritage Centre for allowing the use of kitchen facilities for the team to bake away!

Jo Suyker, MCT Chairperson, was thrilled to meet with some of the Czech cookie baking crew to accept their donation cheque of a whopping $3,170.00.

Pictured below, (left to right):  Vendy Snajdrova, Joanna Suyker (MCT Chairperson), Jan Lukasek, Bara Cucvarova.


High Country Fete

Sue van den Heuvel - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Thanks to Methven High Country Fete organisers for a donation of $1600.00 resulting from our team assisting with car parking and gate sales at the Methven High Country Fete on Wednesday 22nd November at the Methven Racecourse.

Denise Dixey, co-organiser of the fete said "as our fete grows, so does our ability to assist local organisations through donations or complimentary stalls at the fete.  Methven Care Trust help us on the day by manning the gate and car park, so the majority of our donation goes to their fundraising efforts for the new Methven House."

Jo Suyker, MCT Chairperson, said "thank you on behalf of the trust, we are grateful for the opportunity to fundraise in this way and receive such a generous donation.  The fete is a great event for the local community and our team has a lot of fun on the day."

Pictured below: (left to right) Julie Clements, Jo Suyker, Denise Dixey.

2017 Methven Rodeo benefits Trust

Sue van den Heuvel - Friday, September 29, 2017

Methven Care Trust is thrilled to be benefiting from the 2017 Methven Rodeo, to be held at Labour weekend, Sunday 22nd October at the Methven A & P showgrounds.

"The Methven Rodeo committee are again very supportive of our local fundraising cause and approached us earlier in the year to confirm that they would once again be making a substantial donation, I was very happy to meet with them earlier this week to receive the cheque", said Jo Suyker, MCT Chairperson.

Pictured above left to right are Methven Rodeo committee members Richard Mee, Steve Sauer (President), Jo Suyker (MCT Chairperson) and Hugh Weir.


House & Garden tour set to entice

Sue van den Heuvel - Friday, September 15, 2017

Tickets for 2017's Methven & Foothills House and Garden Tour go on sale soon with the organisers promising a range fo new and exciting properties to discover.

The date to set aside is Saturday 11th November from 10am to 3.30pm.

This is the third annual House & Garden tour held to fundraise for Methven Care Trust, the group spearheading the project to replace Methven House with a new purpose-built rest home within Camrose Estate.  The aim is to allow Methven locals with the opportunity to continue to live in the community they love as they age.

Nine properties will be up for viewing - the same number as last year - with a new attraction being a cluster in the countryside around historic Barrhill Village.  Because of this vehicles are required to get around the tour.

Here's a couple of teasers to whet your appetite.

For gin drinkers, this three bedroom farmers home built five years ago will make you smile.  A painting of a Bombay Sapphire bottle of gin given as a gift to the owner was the inspiration of the blue kitchen.  Having acquired the original Methven BNZ's foyer doors prior to building, it was inevitable these would feature as a truly inspiring entrance.  Visitors will also be rewarded with assorted classic vehicles and stationary engines on display, part of the owner's private collection.

Another rural property features history detailing back to the mid 1800's but the current home was built in 1931 with evidence retained in the original leadlight glass windows and wooden panelling.  The garden consists of a formal area with buxus and rambling areas with a garden path.  The vege garden boasts roses and lavender and fruit trees on its perimeter.  A museum on site will be open on the day

Devonshire teas will be offered again by Methven House staff at one of the properties and raffles will be available so bring plenty of coins.  Volunteers are now being sough for management of the properties on the day.  Email to register your interest or phone 021 274 6657.

Tickets go on sale early October from the office at Mt Hutt Memorial Hall or by emailing  Tour maps are forwarded via email the week prior to the event.

Pictured:  Enjoying Devonshire tea in the garden at 2015 event

New Aged Care Facility - A Step Closer

Sue van den Heuvel - Monday, September 11, 2017

Allan and Alma Lochhead, who established the Lochhead Charitable Trust in 1988, wished that a 6150 square metre (one and half acre) block of land on Grace Ireland Drive, Methven, be given to the community of Methven for the establishment of a new aged care facility.

For four decades, the elderly of Methven has been cared for in Methven House, the former maternity hospital on Morgan Street. Methven House is unique in Mid-Canterbury as it is owned by the people of Methven and administered by a Committee comprised of community members.

“Forty years of care, forty years of commitment, forty years of empathy and forty years of devotion has been given to the people that have walked through the doors and made Methven House their home. That, quite frankly, is a mighty effort for a community of this size.” Said Methven Care Trust Chairperson Jo Suyker.


But now the building needs to be replaced and the Methven Care Trust was established in October 2014 to raise funds for and oversee the building of a new aged care facility.  Fundraising has begun in earnest with $5m set as the target.

Advance Ashburton, who has taken over the management of the Lochhead Charitable Trust, is delighted to fulfil the Lochhead’s wishes and transfer the land to the Methven Care Trust.

“Having the land demonstrates Methven Care Trust’s commitment for the project to the district.  Methven has a wide respect for Allan and Alma Lochhead’s philanthropy to our community and we are honoured to be the benefactors of this very generous gift”, said Jo Suyker.

On September 9th, the land valued at $470,000 was transferred to the Methven Care Trust and the new facility, which will provide a modern, sustainable and community-run residential-care home, became one big step closer.


Mrs Alma Lochhead, Trevor Croy (Chairman of Advance Ashburton Community Foundation), Joanna Suyker (MCT Chairperson), Roger Henderson and Colin Lill (MCT Trustees), John Goodwin (Lochhead Charitable Trust Trustee) on site of the planned new aged care facility in Methven.

Mini Olympics Team Challenge is on

Sue van den Heuvel - Monday, August 28, 2017

Things are getting busy for the organisers of the Methven Care Trust Mini Olympics Team Challenge, to be held Friday 13th October this year.

Neil Gubby and his partner Sandra, owners of Newzengland Clay Shooting and Archery Services at Terrace Downs had the idea for the Mini Olympics and brought it to the Methven Care Trust who were excited to get on board.

The Olympics event will run for one afternoon and requires four to a team, each participant will compete in all four sports: Clay shooting, Archery, Golf or Gumboot Throwing.  Neil says "experience isn't necessary, so to save you throwing all your gumboots over the neighbours fence, he and his team will give each player training on the day".

The fundraiser is sponsored by Mount Hutt Helicopters, another great local business keen to help with the Methven Care Trust and their new proposed Methven House building at Camrose Estate.

"We have some amazing prizes accumulating, they include some big ticket items for local and high country tourism identities", say's Neil.

Prizes will be awarded to the best themed team, top male and female individuals and the top team will also get a trophy.

Newzengland Lts is one of our local tourist focused businesses and owner Neil certainly has the skills and expertise to go with it.  As a senior instructor for 12 years at the Royal Berkshire Shooting School in England, he not only gained experience in the sport, he competed in many clay shooting competitions in the UK, including the Beretta World Championships in 1997, gaining 2nd in his class.  In his five years at Newzengland, Neil enjoys sharing and teaching his passion in one of the best locations in the world.

Neil held a lot of charity events in the UK before moving to New Zealand 14 years ago and is excited about this fundraiser with a difference, and even more, that all the profits will be going to the Methven Care Trust.

"I want to challenge local businesses, sports clubs and groups to get a team together for this entertaining and challenging day" say's Neil, "it will be an action packed afternoon where you may try something new, get to know a few other locals and end the night with great food and lots of fun".

While the event is to be held at the proposed new building site in Camrose Estate, the prize giving will be at the Blue Pub's Samuels Bar, in Methven, a spit roast dinner will be provided while the teams are awarded prizes for their efforts and enjoy a well deserved drink.

Registrations have started coming in for the Mini Olympics, so get your team together and don't miss out on this day of fun and fundraising.  The event is catering for adults 18 years and upwards and there will be up to twenty teams of four on the day.

Businesses, why not make this a unique Christmas function, or sports teams and groups - drum up some competition between yourselves and enter.

Further details contact sue 021 274 6657 or Neil 021 158 4259.



AGM Treasurers Report 2017

Sue van den Heuvel - Monday, August 14, 2017

The Methven Care Trust has had another amazing year of Fundraising. To have a surplus of $218,534, up on the previous year by nearly $40,000 is a credit to the trustees and volunteers, of this worthy local cause. 

However, the reality is that $5 million needs to be raised within 5 years to be able to complete this project, to the timeframe set. The only way this can be done is by the community believing this is a worthy cause and supporting this project.

We ask, have any of you or do you know of any members of the community that would like to see this project succeed and are prepared to donate to this cause?

Some of you may have thought about leaving a gift to a charity in your will. If this is the case, have you considered giving why you are alive – this way you get to see where and how your money is spent.  You also get 33 cents back, from the government, for every dollar you donate. This benefit is not available for donations made via your will.

We would appreciate hearing from anyone who may be interested in discussing this further.

As awkward as it is to ask for money – this is not for us, but to build a fabulous facility for our locals.

Please also be assured, that by showing an interest you will not be expected to donate, but we would love to share our vision more with anyone on an individual basis.

Also – no donation is too small -  or too big.

Thank you.

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