Breathing is something most of us do without thinking. During September, we can spare a thought for those who can never take it for granted.
Breathe Better September is the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation of New Zealand’s national campaign to promote good respiratory health. The North Otago Asthma Society has added its own initiatives, from which all funds raised will be used locally to support its services.
The main splash occurs next Friday with the Balloon Day Street Appeal. Collectors will be making their presence known at the Oamaru Library, Countdown, Northside New World, and Oamaru Pharmacy. At the latter, nurse educator Fiona Stratford will be on hand with a display of information.
“Pop in and bring your spacer for a warranty of fitness,” she said.
A series of walkathons called STEPtember is being held each Thursday in the month. Everyone is encouraged to meet at 10am at the St John Hall at 21 Exe St and walk the length of the street and back – or more.
Participants will take part in a respiratory exercise class, for which they will seek sponsorship to raise funds. Contributions from their family and friends will help to motivate them.
“Community are invited to come join the fun – more the merrier,” Mrs Stratford said.
In a special programme from September 19 to 29, each Oamaru school will have the opportunity to become certified as an Asthma Friendly School. A Waitaki District Council Community Group Grant was making this possible, Mrs Stratford said.
A grant from Network Waitaki is allowing another initiative to go ahead – the Active Asthmatic Kids Project. It will support children to take part in a sporting code of their choice, within a range of conditions.
Families and individuals are welcome to join the North Otago Asthma Society; information is available by phoning Mrs Stratford on 434-3202.
The society can be liked on Facebook, and donations can be made via its Givealittle page: givealittle.co.nz/org/northotagoasthma#