MEDIA RELEASE: Impact of the Healthy Kids Bus Stop at Bourke

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The Healthy Kids Bus Stop visited Bourke Public School 7 – 9 August, offering free health and developmental check-ups for children in the Bourke area.

Of the 39 children aged 2 – 6 who were assessed, 32 required referrals, and most of these children required referrals in more than one area. Nineteen children needed referrals for Speech Pathology, and 17 children were issued referrals for Occupational Therapy.

A true community event, Maranguka Community Hub, CentaCare, Mission Australia, Bourke Public School, St Ignatius Primary School, RaRMS, BDCS, BAHS, Bourke Community Health and Royal Far West took bookings and helped pull together for the Bus Stop.

The Healthy Kids Bus Stop is an integrated ‘whole of child’ health and developmental assessment and pathway to care program which aims to improve the health and wellbeing of children living in rural and remote communities through early detection of lifestyle risk factors, delayed development and/or illness.

The assessments are undertaken by a team of nursing and allied health staff and include a child health check, hearing screening, dental check, fine and gross motor skill development screening, language and speech development check, and a food nutrition check. Importantly, the program’s pathway to care ensures that children are given a referral pathway to receive the ongoing support they need, through collaborative partnerships with local service providers and Royal Far West.

Kristy Kennedy, Backbone Co-Ordinator Maranguka Community Hub / Just Reinvest NSW said, “The 3-year-old health and development checks was a great initiative by the Early Childhood Working Group in Bourke under the Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project. We had support from local allied health services and Eternity Aid, which is a community partner with established relationships in the community. To bring Royal Far West on board as a partner was the icing on the cake. Their assistance in the coordination of the event was outstanding. The checks were a success and we look forward to follow up work and a further health check early next year. Watch this space”.

Vivianne Prince commented, “As a parent, attending the Healthy Kids Bus Stop with my child was fantastic. I found the environment welcoming and stress-free. My child enjoyed the checks so much that she did not want to leave”.

Royal Far West, in partnership with Maranguka and the Justice Reinvestment Project Early Childhood Working Group and Ronald McDonald House Charities, and supported by CAGES Foundation, were proud to bring the service to Bourke, as an initiative of the Justice Reinvestment Project for Bourke.

Pic: Ali and his Mum at the completion of his Bus Stop

Pic: Assessment time

Royal Far West media contact: Deb Gibbons, PR Manager. Ph: 0413 554 834

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Bourke 5, 2017, Ali and mum              Bourke 2, 2017