The Annual White Ribbon, Family Fun Day planned for November 26 2016 was to be a big open air concert and kid’s program at Lane Park in Wallaceville. Although the organisation for the event had started a little later than previously everything was in place for a wonderful outdoors event, however, early on the morning of the 26th it was decided that the weather was too unsettled to risk setting up the electrical and sound gear necessary  outside, and were we lucky we made that decision because at 11.00, just half an hour before the gates opened the clouds just opened up and absolutely poured with rain. Fortunately because we were at Lane Park we had always planned for this and simply moved the event indoors.

 

The White Ribbons Riders arrived about 12.10 and entered the auditorium from the front, this created a lot of noise and interest and also provided the opportunity to begin the event. We had around 15 stakeholder stands around the walls of the Hall including a bouncy castle supplied by the Fire Service which was a real hit with the children. The concert items that continued throughout the three and a half hour event were added to by several short but informative talks from various dignitaries and men speaking out against violence. At 1.15 the children were encouraged to go to another large room and participate in a children’s programme including a magician and “big bubble man” plus sporting activities. There were also several food stands so the people could purchase lunch.

 

Obviously the weather significantly contributed to the drop in numbers from previous years but about 500 folk came throughout the afternoon and enjoyed the activities, music and food, and most importantly heard the message of the importance of all of us working towards stamping out “Violence Against Women”.

Ahead of White ribbon say on 25 November, Upper Hutt City Council staff are quite literally driving awareness of the campaign message throughout the City in a bid to promote respectful relationships and eliminate men’s violence towards women.

UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ , 17 November 2016-White Ribbon day is held annually on 25 November. Events are held in communities throughout New Zealand during November to support the campaign.  With the goal of eliminating men’s violence towards women, the campaign aims to change men’s attitudes about respectful relationships by encouraging them to take ownership of this important issue and model good behaviour.

Upper Hutt has collaborated with White Ribbon and Safe Hutt Valley to produce 3,000 White Ribbon bumper stickers. the bumper stickers have been permanently fixed to all Council fleet cars, portraying a simple yet effective message: ‘Respect can stop violence towards women.’ Additionally, they prompt the viewer to visit the White Ribbon website and consider taking the White Ribbon pledge.

“While the White Ribbon campaign is very visible throughout November, the reality is that violence towards women is a year- round issue, “says Council’s  Director of Community Services, Mike Ryan. “The bumper stickers are a great way for Council to continually advocate  that violence is not OK, ever.”

Along with the bumper stickers, Upper Hutt residents can expect to see many other campaign prompts, including billboards, static displays, posters, and cloth white ribbons in prominent locations around the city.

“Safe Hutt Valley is proud to support Council’s awareness campaign, ” says Safe Hutt Valley Coordinator, Lesley Davies. “It acts as a catalyst for members of the public to engage with White Ribbon, examine their own behaviour and attitudes about violence towards women, and understand what violence is and the harmful impact it has. “The bumper stickers are available for free from Upper Hutt Central Library, Upper Hutt Council reception, and H20 Xtream aquatic centre.  Council has also engaged local community groups, businesses, sports clubs, government agencies and other groups to distribute the bumper stickers throughout Upper Hutt.

“White Ribbon is delighted to again be working with Upper Hutt City Council, Safe Hutt Valley, and their communities to carry a strong non-violence message, says White Ribbon Chairman, Cam Ronald. “By working together, and focusing on the areas that will make the most difference, we stand up, speak out, and act to prevent men’s violence towards women, not just today but every day.  The Bumper Stickers and other ongoing displays ensure that this is seen by everyone, every day.”

For more information on White ribbon and the White Ribbon pledge, go to www.whiteribbon.org.nz  For more information on Family Violence in New Zealand, go to www.areyouok.org.nz For more information about the community led White Ribbon family Fun Day in Upper Hutt contact Ron Vink, 4 A Better City Upper Hutt via 4abettercity@gmail.com

By installing murals in public places within the City, Upper Hutt City Council’s Youth Development and Painted Environment mural projects aim to decrease graffiti, increase the perception of safety within Upper Hutt, build cultural and heritage character in Upper Hutt and beautify Upper Hutt.

From June 2015 to date, over 70 young people aged 9-24 years have engaged in mural projects across the city.  Youth have volunteered their time during the projects and in most instances they were responsible for identifying the sites, obtaining legal permission, surveying residents, designing and then installing the murals.  Many have also produced a report to stakeholders at completion of the projects.

The young people involved have volunteered a combined total of over 440 hours to these projects.  The meaningful involvement of young people in these projects allows Council to engage with and support the City’s young people to develop skills, knowledge and experience to participate confidently in their communities.

See photo of all Upper Hutt’s murals then map out your own route and take a tour of Upper Hutt’s emerging Painted environment by clicking the link below

http://uhcc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapTour/index.html?appid=18914edc9bb2488fb0743f00fbec8f47#