Making a difference in local communities in 2021 is what the AIA Vitality Business and Community Grants programme was all about. With ten grants awarded and over $500,000 available to support grassroots initiatives, the programme has helped advisers support their local communities to live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.
“We’re thrilled with the amazing work we have seen come to fruition this year through the AIA Vitality Business and Community Grants programme,” says Sam Tremethick, Chief Partnership Insurance Officer. “While originally awarded in 2020, many of the Grants were delayed due to Covid-19 which meant the initiatives were delivered throughout this year. We are so pleased to have been able to support advisers’ businesses with this programme, and the health and wellbeing projects they are passionate about.”
At the start of the year, Simon Gower from Leelee & Gower Insurance Partners helped more than 1,450 children learn to swim in the Waikato. With his team of swimming coaches, Simon taught students at Fairfield College and four decile one primary schools how to swim, carrying out over 20,000 individual free swimming lessons.
“Our programme would not be possible without financial support so it was great to partner with AIA who shared our vision of trying to improve the health and wellness of tamariki in our community,” says Simon.
Continuing the health and wellbeing focus was Alan Leuluai from Leuluai Financial and his ‘MoveWell’ health and fitness programme in South Auckland, and Leelee Li from Leelee & Gower Insurance Partners with her bootcamp and speaker circuit to support Asian communities in Hamilton. Both used their Grant to focus on “moving well” and supporting those that might not usually have access to organised fitness with opportunities to get involved.
Mental wellbeing was another core theme, as Lance Parker-Wadham and the team at Parka Insurances put their Grant to good use with series of talks by Sir John Kirwan on mental health and managing depression at local rugby clubs.
Dean Logan and his team at Logan Smythe & Associates offered a series of resilience and mindfulness community courses and workshops, along with a podcast series providing free, practical resources packed full of evidence-based tips and tools to help people feel good and function well.
“Without the AIA Vitality Business and Community Grant, quite simply, this project would not have been possible. It enabled us to bring a series of world-class, evidence-based wellbeing and mindfulness courses, workshops and podcasts to North Canterbury,” says Dean. “We were thrilled to be able to make such a difference for the people in our local community, and to see first-hand the positive changes to mental health and wellbeing as a result of participation.”
Tradies mental health got a boost nationwide thanks the great work of Ryan Edwards and The Adviser Platform team who launched ‘Tools Down’; an online platform to raise awareness of mental ill health and the suicide rate among Kiwi tradies. Joel Mclachlan and his team also advocated for positive mental wellbeing by opening a MenzShed in Waimakariri, giving locals a place for social interaction and to use their skills to support the local Canterbury community.
“Without the AIA Vitality Grant there is simply no way MenzShed would have the fantastic asset they now have. The Grant, together with AdviceKiwi’s support, gave the local council confidence that the project would be seen through to completion. The Council agreed to provide land in Gladstone Park to the MenzShed so that it could be built and used as a community asset for many years to come.”
“With some AIA Vitality Business and Community Grant activations still to come, we look forward to more adviser community projects coming to life into 2022,” says Sam. “At AIA NZ we are committed to helping people live Healthier, Longer, Better Lives – and what better way to achieve this than to partner with passionate advisers to do good mahi in their local community.”