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Thursday September 3, 2015

inbrief news

Budding gardeners

Site blessed Cardinal John Dew, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Wellington, last week led the blessing of the site of a new teaching and administration block for St Catherine’s College in Kilbirnie. The new 1,160 m2 building is expected to be completed by mid-2016. Naylor Love, the main contractor, expects that more than 100 builders and sub-contractors will be involved in the project. St Catherine’s College is one of five integrated girls’ colleges run by the Sisters of Mercy’s Tiaki Manatu Ministries Trust.

By Fiona Donnellan

Over 12,800 budding preschool gardeners from around the country will be taking part in the 2015 Daltons Sunflowers in Kindergartens Project which launches this month. Now in its third year, the gardening initiative gives kindergarten children the opportunity to develop some basic gardening skills. The scheme also allows kids to begin learning about the lifecycle of plants. They do this by growing their very own sunflower. Last year over 245 kindergartens in nine regions including Wellington took part. This year there are 21 kindergartens taking part in the Wellington region and each has been sent their starter pack. Daltons General Manager, Colin Parker, says, “You are never too young to learn about

Food for thought In a recent survey by food companies, it said that 19 per cent of Wellingtonians have a limited repertoire of fewer than six meals which they repeat each week. 38 per cent of Wellingtonians would like more meal variety but are restricted by tight budgets, while a further 18 per cent of Wellingtonians said they lack the confidence to trial new meals. 21 per cent of Wellingtonians said they almost never sit down with their family for dinner. And interestingly 31 per cent of Wellingtonians said they check their cell phones at least once during dinner.

Island Bay United

School Holiday Programme Mon 28 Sept to Fri 2 Oct 2015, 9am–3pm, Wakefield Park

SUNFLOWERS IN KINDERGARTENS: The project provides learning opportunities for children to engage in gardening and have a little fun growing the tallest or widest sunflower along the way PHOTO: Supplied

gardening. The project has thrived since we launched it three years ago and we are delighted to bring it to even more regions this year. Our main goal is that children have the opportunity to connect with gardening - the competition component is there for a little extra encouragement and fun. These kindy kids will not only develop gardening skills and knowledge, practice basic maths, but also learn about responsibility as they take care of their plants throughout the project.” Two top tips from organisers are the importance of keeping the temperature constant. So ensure your pots are in a very warm, sunny location. Also, they encourage everyone to create your own mini-greenhouse by taking a 1.5 litre plastic bottle, cut the bottom out and remove the lid and place it over your pot.

Women urged to get smear tests

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Wellington women are being encouraged to consider their health and make cervical screening a priority this September. This month is Cervical Screening Awareness Month and the focus is on highlighting the importance of smear tests and motivating more Kiwi women to book in for screening. Well Women and Family Trust general manager, Jane Piper, says cervical smear

tests are short and simple procedures with a proven ability to save lives. “We recommend screening every three years to reduce the risk of bad cells developing into something that could potentially be life-threatening,” she says. Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer and screening every three years can reduce the risk of developing it by up to 90 per cent.

Jane advises that “By having regular smears, there is a very high chance any abnormal cells will be detected and treated before they become cancerous.” The National Screening Unit is encouraging more women to recognise the importance of cervical screening, and effectively reduce the number of New Zealand women who develop cervical cancer. Jane says New Zealand has

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one of the best screening programmes in the world, with the number of women who die from cervical cancer dropping by 60 per cent since 1990.  To find out when your next smear is due, either call your GP or phone 0800 729 729. For more information about the national cervical screening programme go to www. cervicalscreening.govt.nz.

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