Adult Learners Week Events a Success 01-Oct-2014

October 1, 2014 10:54 pm

Rural Women groups around the country received funding from ACE Aotearoa to organise events for Adult Learners’ Week 8 to 14 September 2014. 

Forty participants from Winton, Heriot and Dunedin along with locals and four members from Henley branch took part in a day of learning, fun and lots of concentration for Adult Learners Week hosted by Beaumont-Tuapeka on 13 September (pictured left).

A full programme of classes saw people learning to make delicious feta and halloumi cheese; some learned to felt, producing cellphone covers and flowers; others took part in foot and shoulder massage, learn-to-crochet, scrapbooking and card-making sessions (pictured below right).

Margaret Healy says, “Participants brought their own lunch and our Beaumont-Tuapeka branch supplied morning and afternoon tea. We had a multi-draw raffle with a great assortment of prizes.”

At the end of the day the verdict was a ‘fantastic’ and ‘excellent’ day, with participants already brimming with ideas for what they’d like to learn next year for Adult Learners Week: bread, candle, jewellery, soap and sausage making, photography, square dancing, dry stone walling and repeating things they learned this time.

“So plenty of scope for another day, and many thanks to ACE Aotearoa for their help,” says Margaret.

Following on from last year’s successful Adult Learners Week event, Rai Valley members repeated the winning format, putting on a meal for migrant workers in the area with a local doctor giving a talk on men’s health, followed by a Civil Defence update. The group also held an IT upskilling course, learning to use Facebook, YouTube and Skype. (pictured below)

Rukuhia members and friends held a two hour IT session with two tutors at Melville intermediate.

Janet Williams said, “National MP’s Tim Macindoe and David Bennett popped in at our request to see how Adult Learners Week funding was being spent. I gave them an apron each and information on Rural Women.”

One of the participants said, “I have been struggling with my online early childhood studies. I am so grateful to the principal David Cook and his computer technician Richard. They both warmly welcomed me and Richard taught me some basics that I was unaware of, as well as a couple of things to do efficiently. It was very worthwhile my time to attend. Thanks so much. Nga mihi nui kia koe, a class well done!” (pictured below)

In Southland six inter-provincial members gathered at Senior Net to hear Bruce Smart share some computer insights. Mary Earwaker says members learnt about Drop Box, where minutes and any other documents relevant to a group can be stored, and members can retrieve them, which saves emailing everyone.

“He showed us some of the amazing things that you can see and hear on the internet.”

Members were encouraged to attend Senior Net classes, and Mary’s already enrolled for a one week course.

Gendie Somerville-Ryan president of Awana branch says they were thrilled with the turnout of around 50 people to their ‘Man up to prostate cancer’ Adult Learners’ Week event, with nearly 65 percent of the audience being males. “Not bad out of a population of 885 – over 5% of the total!”

Ralf Golobovsky and David Snow spoke openly – and movingly – about their experience of being diagnosed and treated for the cancer. Dr Lilian van Alphen then explained the structure and function of the prostate, and talked about the problems with current tests and treatments. Monitoring is really important and Aotea Health is encouraging monitoring for those with a family history of prostate cancer from 40 years of age and those with no family history from 50 years of age. These ages are based on medical statistical evidence.

Gendie says the surprise of the night was the number of men who asked questions and shared experiences. This ranged from how men can do pelvic floor exercises to keep muscles around the urethra strong (yes, men can do this too!) to whether sex is a protection against prostate cancer (unfortunately there is no evidence this is so).

“Prostate cancer affects the whole family and our men are precious – Rural Women know men in isolated communities often need to be encouraged, and reminded, to be monitored. If you haven’t been tested yet, call in to your doctors, because the only thing you have to be afraid of is doing nothing.”

Didn’t have time to plan an event this year? Check out the ACE Aotearoa website for event ideas, or get in touch with us at National Office. There will be funding available next year for Adult Learners’ Week and we’ll be sure you’re the first to know!

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