Greg Partington’s mum’s stroke inspired aid project

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AUCKLAND, January 1: When was the last time you checked in on an elderly neighbour or loved one? A harsh reality struck close to home for Kiwi adman and owner of Waitapu Group (including advertising agency Stanley St) Greg Partington, when he found his mother lying on her kitchen floor in September 2021.

She’d suffered a debilitating stroke to the left side of her brain. Distressed, hurt and unable to move, she lay alone for 20 hours. Not through any lack of care but because the signals of something being wrong were missed by those close by.

Since this tragic incident, it’s become apparent that many of our most vulnerable have suffered a similar fate. Something needed to change. In the last year alone, ACC has processed over 300,000 claims for the elderly for injuries in the home.

So Partington galvanised the team at Stanley St to build a campaign that achieved just that. 

The Hello Project campaign has been designed to raise awareness and prevent similar events happening to other families. 

Partington said: “If we can change one situation to have a positive outcome, that’s success to me.

“Greg Partington found his mother lying on her kitchen floor.”

“All it takes is a quick hello, or making a plan with family to periodically check in with our elderly, a group to which we often forget we owe so much.”

Written by Simon Shattky, Directed by Robin Walters for Film360 and created by the team at Stanley St, The Hello Project is a multi-platform national awareness campaign that aims to encourage all of New Zealand to stop, think, reflect, and connect with our kaumātua to help broaden the circle of care and improve access to tools and technologies to those in need.

The campaign launched on 16 December across multiple channels including AV, radio, OOH, digital, PR and content support.

The campaign is centred around a call to action for New Zealanders to be more perceptive of the small cues we can all miss if we don’t look out for them.

The advertisements focus on one sign, a simple porch light left on during the day, a subtle signal of something not being quite right.

Partington’s sister and ceo of Stanley St, Siobhan Burke, put the call out to her creative team to bring this very personal story to life.

“Looking out for signals like the one in our Hello Project ad can mean the difference between tragedy and a happy ending. Curtains that haven’t been opened, mail that hasn’t been collected, phone calls that aren’t being answered,” Burke said.

“We wanted to portray the triggers and warning signs we need to look for in everyday life that can signal that something isn’t right.”

“The Hello Project launched ahead of Christmas with a clear intent to get families to discuss these issues as they got together for the holiday season – and it continues throughout January.

Stanley St ECD Brad Collett said: “This is a campaign that all of New Zealand can relate to. It empowers us to build networks around any at-risk friends, family and loved ones and to make sure we are all looking out, checking in, to save lives.

So many amazing New Zealanders and media partners have already committed their time and money towards this cause.

The Hello Project launched ahead of Christmas with a clear intent to get families to discuss these issues as they get together for the holiday season, and continues throughout January. It serves as a timely reminder about recognising the role we can all play when we are near someone vulnerable and the signs to watch for to safeguard and protect their wellbeing.

Although it’s early days, the impact of the activity has already resulted in several community focussed groups expressing an interest in being part of the building on the initial success of the campaign.

“We are so grateful to those who have helped us bring this important message to life. Mum would have been so moved by this work and we could not have done it without the love and support of so many,” says Partington.

“Massive heartfelt thanks to the whole team at Stanley St for leaning so heavily into this endeavour with Greg and I. We hope through our family’s experience with our Mum that these small gestures can make a big difference in the lives of New Zealand families who need support.

“And again, a massive thanks to our media partners, and the other organisations that have made the campaign such a success to date.”

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