Methven Care Trust - News


Singing talent on show

Sue van den Heuvel - Wednesday, June 07, 2017

A suggestion from the late Ian Totty will bring a range of talented singers together in August.

A Variety Concert has been organised for Friday 11th August (new date confirmed following post phonement of original event date, 21st July) at the Mt Hutt Memorial Hall with all proceeds going to Methven Care Trust.

A talented group of ladies from Methven known as 'The Fascinating Ladies' are one of the star attractions.  Led by Methven music teacher Kate Lambarth, the ladies choir will perform classics such as 'What a wonderful world' and 'Operator' followed by some more classical pieces.

The Fascinating Ladies will join together with the Men's MSA choir on the night, which Ian Totty was a member of, to sing three songs sure to please local music buffs.  Further musical guests from the Methven area will also perform bringing locals a great night of music and talent from our wonderful town.

Tickets (which include supper) are now available at the Methven and Ashburton I-Sites and from choir members, $20 adult, $5 child.

Methven Care Trust benefits from farmers' efforts

Sue van den Heuvel - Monday, May 08, 2017

There are many unseen faces supporting the Methven Care Trust project and one of these couples is Keith and Shari Early.

The Earlys are among farmers raising weaned calves for the trust.  The take in steer or heifer calves suitable for grazing and take them through to finishing.  The process can add another $1000 in value to the animal with all proceeds going directly to the trust.  Methven Care Trust is aiming to raise $5.5million to rebuild Methven House so aged care can continue to be offered in Methven.

The Earlys currently have two steers and were involved last season in raising animals.

"We just run them with our own cattle the same age.  They get treated the same, drenched, vaccinations and so on.  For me it's a painless way to fundraise.  They're just in with the mob and with two extras you don't even notice the extra outlay," says Keith.

The Earlys have reared calves for many community organisations - St John's Presbyterian Church, Lauriston School, the local cricket and rugby clubs and Lyndhurst Reserve.  Helping out Methven Care Trust is just another good cause to support.

"It's painless as far as we're concerned because there's no cash outlay or juggling around.  The first two went to the works last spring and the funds go direct to Methven Care Trust.  So it's simple in that respect," he says.

While Keith's involvement with Methven Care Trust has been limited to this project, he understands what the trust is trying to achieve.

"I hope it's a long way off for us (needing aged care) but we can understand the concept of the whole thing and this is one way we can support it.  Rather than having to fork out $500."

Jo Suyker, Chairperson of Methven Care Trust and a member of the Dairy fundraising subcommittee, says dairy farmers kick-start the process by providing weaned calves.

"They rear them and give us anything suitable that we can place on farms to be taken through to finishing."

Six finishing farms are involved at the moment with calves on average generating around $1500 when they go to the works.

"Farmers just see this as part of their business.  And we're just really grateful to take the animals that they can provide.  We're also grateful to the finishing farms that graze them."

This is the third season Methven Care Trust has run a calf rearing programme which to date has contributed approximately $20,000 towards the fundraising target.

Pictured:  Keith Early

Time to get serious about rebuilding Methven House

Sue van den Heuvel - Thursday, April 20, 2017

Two years after the fundraising campaign for a new Methven House commenced, organisers say it’s time to get serious about putting money into the project – before the building becomes too expensive to maintain or earthquake concerns deem it unusable. 

“I took my first breath in this current building. I will not take my last in it. The building will beat me to it,” said Methven Care Trust chairperson Jo Suyker at the home’s recent 40th birthday celebrations.

In a speech to 50 invited guests, Mrs Suyker said it was a tribute to the Methven community that the town had cared for its elderly for four decades in the former maternity hospital building on Morgan Street.

“Forty years of care, 40 years of commitment, 40 years of empathy and 40 years of devotion that 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.”

However, another four decades won’t be possible if Methven people don’t realise what they have to lose if sufficient funds can’t be raised.

 “Methven Care Trust, along with support from the community has set a target of five years to raise $5million for the building. To put it quite bluntly, Methven Care Trust, in these initial stages has been a glorified fundraising mechanism. We are nearly two and a half years in on this project and to date have $503,000 in the bank. A little frightening you may say with half our target years gone and only 10% raised. But I am quietly confident this community will rise to the challenge, and for the sake of taking the responsibility of caring for our elderly seriously, see us over the line.”

With more than 200 people – including preschoolers and school children visiting Methven House on its 40th birthday – Mrs Suyker said it was hoped greater exposure to the home would open people’s eyes to the asset on their doorstep.

“Whilst we enjoy this day of fond memories, celebration and gratitude to those that fought and rallied against the odds to establish Methven House, we must now look forward and into the future as to how we want the next 40 plus years to evolve. Like many here today and those that have gone before us, we must now too fight and rally to create a new space to ensure the continuation of Methven House’s great legacy.”

Methven Care Trust was established in October 2014 to raise funds for and oversee the building of a new aged care facility for Methven on gifted land in Camrose Estate. The trust recently developed a pledge form that allows residents to commit to supporting the project over an agreed period of time or via a one-off donation. More details are available via the fundraising co-ordinator Sue Van den Heuvel on



Fundraising Committee Meeting

Sue van den Heuvel - Friday, April 07, 2017

Our next fundraising committee meeting will be held on Tuesday 20TH JUNE, 7.00PM at The Lodge Bar & Restaurant, Methven Chertsey Road.

All welcome, come along and here what is going on, new faces very welcome, don't be shy, we are a friendly bunch!

Enquiries via email to or phone our Fundraising Co-ordinator on 021 274 6657.


Methven House 40th Anniversary Garden Party

Sue van den Heuvel - Friday, April 07, 2017

Methven House is turning 40 this month!

Drop in to meet staff and residents and learn more about Methven's community-run rest home.

TUESDAY 11TH APRIL 10am to 12pm and 1.00pm to 3.00pm.

Musical interludes provided by local schools and pre-schools, all welcome!

Flying the flag

Sue van den Heuvel - Thursday, March 23, 2017

Check out our new flag, we think it looks great!

This has been a true team effort with the costs relating to having the flag designed and made, being kindly donated by a family in our community, and the base being made by the team at Richards Custom Machinery here in Methven.

This now allows us to have a higher profile when attending events and 'flying the flag' to raise public awareness.

Thank you to all involved.

Methven Care Trust unveils signs

Sue van den Heuvel - Friday, February 03, 2017

Release date: 8 November 2016

Methven Care Trust has unveiled two fundraising signs in the centre of Methven to update the community on progress towards meeting the $5million target to rebuild Methven House.

Thanks to Supervalue owners Kelly and Don McDonald and Four Square owners Garry and Lynn Eddington, signs have been erected on the side of Methven's two supermarkets.  A graphic of the proposed new rest home - made up of $10K bricks - shows the total amount needed.  So far nearly $420,000 has been raised so those bricks are coloured orange.  As funds increase, the bricks will change colour providing transparent reporting on fundraising progress.  The sign was created by Janine Peters from Designamite and the framing and casing work contributed by Harvey Grieve as a Methven Lions project.  Further donors provided materials and additional labour and Methven Care Trust thanks all parties involved in helping us build and install the signs.

Don't forget the trust's Methven and Foothills House & Garden tour is on next weekend, Saturday 19th November.  Tickets can be purchased from the Methven and Ashburton Isites right up to the day.  Nine properties in and around Methven will be open for viewing - all new properties compared to last year's tour.  The event provided a wonderful excuse to enjoy gorgeous local gardens and properties, with all funds raised going to the trust.  Devonshire teas and a fantastic raffle will be on sale at one property so be sure to bring cash.

In tandem with the house and garden tour, the trust is repeating last year's successful rock fundraiser.  Alpine sourced greywacke rocks and limestone versions are on sale now at KT's Contracting on Line Road (ranging in cost from $50 to $400).  Example rocks will be showcased at one property on the house and garden tour.  These make perfect Christmas or special occasion gifts and free delivery is offered to addresses within 7km of Methven.

Four Square's Lynn Eddington with Jo Suyker and Ron Smith from Methven Care Trust.     



SuperValue owners Kelly and Don McDonald with Methven Care Trustees (from left) Roger Henderson, Colin Lill, Jo Suyker and Rone Smith and Lions member Harvey Grieve.

Giving back to remember Dad

Sue van den Heuvel - Friday, February 03, 2017

Release date:  27 October 2016

Losing her dad has inspired Hilary Totty to give something back to the community that supported her family when Ian Totty died a year ago in a tragic accident.

The 31 year old Christchurch multi-sporter is raising funds for registered charity Methven Care Trust when she runs 27km of the Kepler trail in Te Anau in December 2016.

Hilary is asking for donations via a Facebook page Rebuild Methven House.  The aim is to support the goal to raise $5.5million and build a new, aged-care facility for the Methven community.  Community stalwart Ian Totty was chairman of Methven Care Trusts's fundraising committee, as well as a staunch supporter of many community projects in the Methven and Ashburton foothills areas.

Going public about her family's loss isn't easy, but people's support of the cause helps her focus on something positive.

"As soon as it happened I felt a strong urge to do something to give back.  We were incredibly humbled with the support the Staveley and Methven community gave our whole family when dad died.  Doing something positive out of this thing that was so very hard for us was important to me, and Methven Care Trust was a cause that meant a lot to him."

Making sport part of the fundraising equation makes sense, says Hilary, as it connects her to Ian.

"A massive part of dad's and my relationship was about sport.  Since I was 10, dad travelled around New Zealand taking me to events and had always been incredibly supportive.  He loved sport himself and would do anything and everything he could to help me."

Returning to trail running and other sporting events has been strange without dad at her side.

"I feel his absence at my races.  It's weird because dad's not there."  Over the last decade, Ian joined Hilary at Spring Challenge events around the South Island and supported her in two Coast to Coast events.  When Ian died, Hilary was training for the full 66km Kepler race, but shortly afterwards hurt her back and ended up pulling out.

"I prolapsed a disk and couldn't run."  Surgery in March fixed the nerve that was damaged and affecting the function of her foot.

"I couldn't even lift my heal one millimetre off the ground and basically had to learn to run from scrath.  I started by running 20 metres.  It's been a long way back to running 27Km."

Her first race back saw her roped into a three person team competing in the women's Spring Challenge event in September.  After joing two days out from the race, Hilary's team cam second out of 190 entries in the six hour open category.  Recently she competed in Methven's Peak to Pub event coming eighth, a credible result given three months ago she couldn't run at all.

While the last year has been difficult recovering from a back injury and processing her grief, focusing on the Rebuild Methven House fundraising project helps her move forward.

"I have always posted a lot of stuff on Facebook about my sport and sponsors, but as far as advertising what happened with dad I didn't want people to feel sorry for me.  It took a long time to write the Rebuild Methven House page to make sure it came across right.  I think it's important people know the motivation.  I really just want to take a positive outlook and do something that's outside me.  I'm just trying to give something back."

"It's got people thinking about it and I've also had good feedback from people in Methven saying they think it's nice that someone young is getting involved."

Hilary has had exposure to aged care through her work as a dietitian, previously being responsible for nutrition plans for rest homes residents in the United Kingdom.  Currently she is involved in  menu planning for hospital foodservices in Canterbury, but has always had a soft spot for the elderly.

In many ways, Hilary feels she's benefited by the positive reactions to her fundraising.

"People have been absolutely incredible and this experience has brough me a lot closer to many people.  Methven is a place that bands together when needed.  I feel like this is such a little thing I am doing, but hopefully it's raising awareness amongst people who may not otherwise know about the cause.

"I know that dad would be so proud of this and it's what he would want.  I always knew how much he had done for our community, but when you see it all out there it's pretty humbling.  You can always do more.  I'd like to help until Methven Care Trust gets to their target.  I's not going to stop in December."

 Hilary training on Mt Hutt.  (Photo credit; Bill Irwin)

Gardening keeps Doug happy .....

Sue van den Heuvel - Thursday, July 07, 2016

"This is a good reminder of what we're fundraising for.  Methven House staff and supporters going the extra mile for residents as demonstrated by Doug's story below.  Despite a modest increase in size, the new aged care facility will be just as responsive to residents needs."

Just because you age doesn't mean passions die.  Doug Paulson (87) is living proof of that.  The Methven House resident continues to grow vegetables made possible by support from staff and volunteers associated with the community-run rest home. 

Doug arrived at Methven House last November after falling at his daughter's home.  Increased frailty, combined with an existing eye condition, made returning to his daughter's place impossible.  The former Waimate resident was initially reluctant to embrace his new home.  "I did find it a bit hard when I first came in.  But once I got used to it, it was alright."

Keen to help Doug settle, Methven House staff researched his hobbies.  They discovered a love of vegetable gardening since childhood so a plan was hatched to create a raised garden.  Local couple Paul and Julianna Coldicott donated materials and labour, while Kevin from KT's Contracting provided soil.  "I didn't know anything about it until the bed was done.  It knocked me back a bit (to see the bed).  I wasn;t expecting it."

Over summer, Doug planted lettuce, tomatoes, radishes and beans.  His one stipulation was no flowers and this included parsley.  While his efforts have slowed now winter is here, Doug still has leeks, silver beet and parsnips in the ground.

All produce is donated to Methven House going into the meals for 13 residents.  It makes Doug feel good to know he's contributing.  He estimates two recycling bins of tomatoes, several lettuces, dozens of radishes and four feeds of French and Dwarf beans were produced over summer.  He downplays his efforts.  "It's not a big bed, only a small one.  But I can get everything done in 20 minutes to half an hour."

With arthritis plaguing his hands, Doug doesn't know how long he will be able to keep gardening.  But he appreciates the opportunity to work outside.  "They did a great job with the raised bed.  It's even got a cover so it's very tidy."

With a working life that included work in shearing sheds, fence building, spud picking, crane and tractor driving and seed cleaning, Doug isn't one to sit around.  Despite near blindness, he walks regularly around Methven.  "I follow the lines on the pavement."  And the raised garden keeps him busy planning new crops.  "I tried cauliflower and broccoli but they didn't work.  A lot of things bolted last summer.  But we got things in pretty late so maybe that was it."  Whatever the reason, Methven House has provided a new lease of life for Doug and he's very appreciative.

Pictured:  Doug proudly displaying his harvest


Sue van den Heuvel - Tuesday, June 28, 2016

We welcome you to attend our AGM on Wednesday 10th August, 7.30pm at the Mt Hutt Memorial Hall.

This meeting will be followed with an opportunity to have supper and chat with our Trustee's and members from our fundraising committee, all welcome.

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