Free health checks

Like many men, Waikaia sheep and beef farmer James McKee (above) admits he does not go to the doctor very regularly.

So when Mr McKee saw there was a wellness van at the Southern Field Days offering free health checks for those in rural communities, he took the opportunity to get checked out.

A registered nurse assessed his blood sugar level, oxygen level, heart rate, cholesterol level, blood pressure and body mass index.

The van is an initiative of the Carr Family Foundation, the philanthropic arm to Carrfields Holdings Group.

Carrfields is a family owned business which has its head office in Ashburton and the Carr Group of companies has been built up over the past 40 years.

With a desire to give back to the agricultural communities the business worked in, the foundation runs a variety of programmes focused on rural health and wellness, education and community support.

Since the van’s launch in 2022, more than 400 people have had a checkup which has resulted in more than 100 referrals being made to GPs for issues of concern.

Four of those were urgent referrals.