Hawke's Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) staff who volunteer their time to help recruit senior school students into the health industry have been cited as a reason why the award-winning Programme Incubator has attracted its first community funding.
Jarrod Graham, Hawke's Bay-Manawatu regional manager for Guardian Trust, which acts as trustee for the charitable Kingdom Foundation, last week presented the programme with $15,000.
"Here are some dollars, but the most significant part of the programme is the time the DHB volunteer to the programme," he told Hawke's Bay Today.
"The Kingdom Foundation has wide parameters and this application appealed to us on a number of factors - both education and the wider community," he said. "For every dollar we give out to the community we want to make as much difference as possible."
Many HBDHB staff visit schools in their own time, board education and development manager Wynn Schollum said.
"One doctor travelled to Wairoa in her own time - that level of commitment is not unusual," he said.
Programme incubator is about growing Hawke's Bay's health-work force.
"There is a huge demand for healthcare workers. This is a strategy where we get Year 13 students engaged, enthused and excited about the opportunities in health by bringing work experiences into the classroom.
"It is very much an eye on the next generation, because the aging population are on their way."
When the programme started five years ago, schools were targeted that had a population mix mirroring the wider population.
Flaxmere College was the first. The school previously had only one Year 13 entrant into the health industry per year but the programme lifted that to four.
"We are now in most secondary schools in Hawke's Bay. The percentage of students going into health from the programme is over 60 per cent - 370 students in Hawke's Bay alone."
Each session runs for two hours. Five sessions a year are held at both the schools and at the HBDHB. The programme has been rolled out throughout the country and has won six national awards, predominantly for the learning framework that HBDHB put together.
"It is a resource-rich programme. In the classroom we have a lot of hands-on stuff - we want the kids to be actually touching and playing with the bones. That's important. We design our own books as well - the cost factors means this kind of financial help is invaluable."
The Kingdom Foundation was established in 1988 by the late Cyril Isaacs, who sought to support charitable causes in the regions where he worked and lived. Mr Isaacs spent much of his working life in the building industry in Manawatu and Horowhenua and his later years in Hawke's Bay.