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When Andrea McKee posted on Facebook that she needed a haircut and is tempted to get a ‘bowl cut’, she wasn’t planning on raising money out of it. But then friends dared her and started offering money to encourage her. She thought, ‘how can I turn this into a good thing?’

Andrea is the activities coordinator at Ribbonwood Rest Home at Tapanui in West Otago, and also completing an apprenticeship in diversional therapy through industry training organisation, Careerforce. She said her colleagues have been working very hard looking after their residents’ health and wellbeing,  made all the more challenging due to the current Covid-19 crisis. She wanted to give them a well-deserved treat post lockdown.

Staff at Ribbonwood Rest Home understood how difficult it must feel for their residents for their families to not be able to visit. They wanted to make sure they keep them connected and decided to start a Facebook page for their residents’ families so they know how their loved ones are doing and what they’re up to. At the same time, families could post what they’re doing and staff would share them to their family members.

Andrea decided to go for that ‘bowl cut’ and told her friends what she plans to do with the money. One of their residents, Mirriam, was to do the cutting. She used to be a hair stylist and had kept her scissors. “She was so excited to do it,” shared Andrea.

They gathered the residents in the lounge to watch, the bowl was placed in her head and away Mirriam went. The video and photos were shared to their Facebook page and they have raised $900 so far.

“I’ll organise a nice meal for the staff at one of our local restaurants. For the rest of the money, I’ll get some vouchers that they could use to help with expenses.”

There are definitely no regrets for Andrea, “just the laughter from the residents made it worthwhile. It was priceless.”






Andrea McKee is one of many in the aged care workforce doing a fantastic in job looking after our elderly. Apart from her usual day-to-day job, she’s also upskilling, doing an apprenticeship with the support of Industry Training Organisation, Careerforce. She is working her way to achieve a Level 4 qualification in Community Facilitation specialising in Diversional Therapy.   

We have heard some amazing stories and innovations that our employers, trainees and apprentices are doing during this crisis. We wanted to share some of these stories as we feel so privileged to be working with and supporting the essential workforce in the health and wellbeing sectors.