Arthritis NZ volunteer Annetta Hodges with her AgeConnect award. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Pretty nails earns award

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After 16 years and more than 8000 toenails trimmed, Annetta Hodges is hanging up her clippers.

The 79-year-old was a recent recipient of the inaugural AgeConnect awards held at the Trafalgar Park Pavilion on Wednesday morning.

The awards celebrated a host of community champions improving the lives of our elderly citizens.

“It’s very humbling,” Annetta says.

Annetta is an Arthritis NZ volunteer, and once a month for almost two decades, has cut the toenails of sufferers unable to do so themselves.

While “only toenails,” Annetta says her work can be a very social experience.

“I have met some great people.”

Annetta found herself in the role full time after filling in for three months.

“I was asked to do it while the previous lady took time off to look after her sick husband but then she didn’t want it back.”

She says she wants to help patients maintain their dignity.

“As a lot of the folks say, their arms are getting shorter, they have arthritis and they just can’t reach their feet. They are so grateful, they dance out the door.”

Annetta says clipping toenails is an extension of her nursing career. “When I did my nursing training sixty years ago, cutting toenails was one of the first things we were taught to do.

Annette says over her 16-year career she has cut approximately 8400 toenails and she will now retire to focus on her many other voluntary initiatives.

“I had to decide that when I turn 80 that’s it but I have really enjoyed it.”

2018 AgeConnect Supreme Awards:

Elder friendly customer service award: Wakefield Four Square.

Creating connections award: Neighbourhood Support Nelson/Waimea.

Above and beyond award: Russell Moore, Nelson Taxis

One person makes a difference award: Annetta Hodges

Employer of elderly award: Mitre 10 Mega, Nelson.

Supreme award: Stoke Seniors.