Methven Care Trust - News


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.

Next fundraising committee meeting date......

Sue van den Heuvel - Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Our fundraising committee meets on an eight weekly cycle, taking the next meeting date to MONDAY 15th AUGUST, 7pm at the St Johns Presbyterian Church meeting room, Jackson Street, Methven.

If you would like to find out more about our committee meetings or just have a chat regarding our fundraising campaign please don't hesitate to email our Fundraising Co-ordinator,

Looking for fundraising ideas, big and small.......

Sue van den Heuvel - Wednesday, May 25, 2016

There are many ways you can donate to Methven Care Trust.  Pete and Maryanne Hayward didn't want attention for their efforts, but we wanted to tell their story.

Last year the Methven couple provided a paddock just outside of Methven for the trust's cropping activities.  With inputs including labour supplied by Colin and Jocelyn Lill, a crop of barley was sown, cultivated and sold for a tidy profit of just over $24,000.  The Haywards were reluctant to go public about their involvement.

"I didn't do this to talk about it," says Pete.  But when pressed, he admits it's a good feeling to help a community cause.  "it was well worth it.  We didn't miss the paddock.  It was only out for one year."  The Hayward's paddock was old pasture beforehand so the time out has set it up well for future options.  "There were definitely some advantages for us.  We've been able to donate something to the cause without having to think about it too much."

Maryanne says the couple are fully behind the rebuild project for a new aged care facility for Methven.

"It's absolutely imperative that we have something like this in the future.  We definitely support it."

She hopes other landowners and farmers will similarly consider donating either cropping or grazing land for a period of time to support the trust.

"This has been relatively painless for us.  It's something we could do to contribute in a small way to the future of Methven."

Other fundraising streams underway for Methven Care Trust include the sale of pea straw and baleage.  Delivery for pea straw within the immediate Methven vicinity is $5 per bale.  Both can be purchased by contacting our Fundraising Co-ordinator. 

Meanwhile personal donations keep rolling in.  The trust's residential flier distributed to Methven households two months ago has resulted in close to $20,000 in total being donated.  At BNZ Methven, the ladies report anonymous donations turning up via electronic banking and coffee cup money boxes arriving over the counter.  It doesn't matter how big or small the donation is, Methven Care Trust appreciates all of the support we receive.  Every donation adds up, no matter how small.

The next meeting of the trustees of Methven Care Trust will take place mid-June.  Please contact our Fundraising Co-ordinator Sue van den Heuvel on or 021 -274 6657 if you have fundraising ideas or suggestions for the trust.

Picture above:  Pete & Maryanne Hayward

Pictured above:  Pete & Maryanne Hayward on-site with Methven Care Trustee, Colin Lill

Our next fundraising meeting date....... Monday 27th June

Sue van den Heuvel - Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Thanks to those who attended our last committee meeting.  It was great to have a good number of people in attendance and even better to have some new faces join us - thank you!

The fundraising committee will meet on an eight weekly cycle, taking the next meeting date to MONDAY 27th June, 7pm at the St Johns Presbyterian Church meeting room, Jackson Street, Methven.

If you would like to find out more about our committee meetings or just have a chat regarding our fundraising campaign please don't hesitate to email our Fundraising Co-ordinator,



Sue van den Heuvel - Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Our next fundraising committee meeting is scheduled for Monday 2nd May 2016, 7pm at the St Johns Presbyterian Church meeting room, Jackson Street, Methven.

It would be great to have some new faces join us, come along and hear what is going on behind the scenes of our fundraising campaign.  There is no pressure to do anything more, other than have a listen and offer suggestions maybe as to an idea you may have?

For further details please don't hesitate in giving our Fundraising Co-ordinator a call on 021 274-6657 or email us,

Hope to see you there........


Save the date - 2016 Methven & Foothills House and Garden Tour

Sue van den Heuvel - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Due to the overwhelming success of our inaugural Methven & Foothills House and Garden Tour last November, we have confirmed that we will be making this an annual event for our fundraising campaign.

So, mark in on the calendar - SATURDAY 19th NOVEMBER 2016.

Our committee is already working behind the scenes to secure another unique and special range of properties for your inspection and enjoyment this year.  Tickets will go on sale in early October at both the Methven and Ashburton I-Sites, or email

Methven Summer Sounds - Thank You

Colm McGrath - Monday, February 29, 2016

Thanks to all the Methven Care Trust and Methven Lions Club members who volunteered there time to assist on the entry gates at the Methven Summer Sounds Concert on Saturday 20th February.  Also, a big thanks to Farm Source Methven for supplying us with our new high-vis vests for the job also, complete with our Methven Care Trust logo!

Pictured here Angus McKay, Trudy & Ross Gordon.


Pictured Graeme Campion (Methven Lions Club President), Paul and Pip from CrossRoads/The Lodge.



House & Garden Tour a success!

Sue van den Heuvel - Monday, November 30, 2015

Our inaugural 'Through the Years - Methven and Foothills House & Garden Tour' held on Saturday 28th November proved to be a shining winner for our fundraising committee.  We would like to congratulate the thirteen properties, eleven homes and 2 gardens,  on the high standard of presentation of their properties and all the hard work in the lead up to the event that the property owners obviously had invested. 

Our stellar volunteers are also obviously key to the smooth running of the day, as without them we can't do it! 

Please check out our photo gallery to view photos taken on the day, also here are a few comments from those who did the tour....


"Thank you for the lovely tour on Saturday.  You must have ordered the weather especially for the day.  A huge thank you to all the people who opened their homes and gardens for us to visit, we would love for the day to happen again so we can get around more places.  Maybe we lingered too long at some places, but we were made to feel very welcome.  Well cone to all involved".

"I'd like to thank everyone involved in organising and running this event.  I know there must have been a lot of preparation and planning gone in to such a well organised and seamlessly run day.  Can I also say a massive thank you and congratulations to the amazingly selfless people who opened up their homes and gardens for us to be in awe of.  Each and every one of the properties is just spectacular and the owners should be so proud of their beautiful properties - most of whom have put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into restoring and maintaining their beautiful character homes.  Each and every one of the properties is worthy of being shown off to the nation - simply stunning".

"Thank you so much for a wonderful day.  Having the opportunity to visit such truly beautiful gardens and homes was an absolute pleasure.  Our thanks to all those who opened their gates and allowed us to wander.  It was an absolute pleasure and truly appreciated.  What talented people we have amongst us.  To all on the organising committee and those helping at various steps along the way - thank you.  What a day you made for us!"

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