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School Children Help Create Starship's Two New Mobile Ear Clinics

An alarm clock, toaster, cow, plane, tui, bell, hot air balloon and iPod are just some of the illustrations adorning Starship's two new mobile ear clinics that were funded by ASB and launched at an Auckland primary school.

The wonderful designs were a collaboration between artist Sam Mathers and students from Glen Innes Primary School, who were asked to come up with ideas for decorating the ASB-funded vans based on the 'sounds of Aotearoa'.

The two fully-equipped mobile ear clinics, which were funded by Starship Foundation Five Star Sponsor ASB, cost $500,000.

"Our relationship with Starship is one of our most-cherished sponsorships and we, as an ASB community, are always looking for new ways we can work together to support the fantastic work it does," says Roger Beaumont, ASB's Executive General Manager of Marketing and Communications.

"Over the last year, ASB people have come together to fundraise for the Mobile Ear Clinics over a number of campaigns, including term deposit and savings product campaigns and also a Facebook campaign where the amount we donated was determined by our Facebook community, who got right behind us and helped us raise over $28,000 in one day.

"The Mobile Ear Clinics, named Bubble and Squeak by our Facebook community, are a much needed service that will have a big impact on the community and we are proud to be helping improve the 'hearing health' of young Aucklanders."

A team of five nurses staff the mobile ear clinics, visiting early childhood centres and primary schools in the Auckland region to monitor, treat and help prevent childhood ear disease. Around 3,100 children are seen in Starship's mobile ear clinics each year. 

"More than 25 percent of Auckland school children experience ear health issues, which can have a devastating impact on cognitive and social development," says Starship Ear Nurse Kahn Bury. 

"Thanks to ASB's generous funding of these mobile ear clinics, we'll be able to get ear health care into the community and reduce the rate of hospital visits."

More than 60 children from Glen Innes Primary helped launch the mobile ear clinics with a kapa haka performance and wearing t-shirts they'd been gifted bearing a pukeko illustration off one of the vans and the Maori words "Te Waka Taringa Hauora" (The Ear Health Van).

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