Students walking to and from Fernlea School in Wainuiomata now have a much more attractive route, thanks to an  “Adopt a Spot” project with local artist Dan Mills. Dan and the students worked together to transform an alleyway near Fernlea School with their own colourful art.

Funding for the project was provided by the Ministry of Justice, through its “Adopt a Spot” programme which aims to reduce graffiti vandalism and encourage young people and their families to appreciate and care for their local environment

The ministry of Justice is pleased that the Fernlea School Pupils have helped their community get rid of some of the tagging and created a place that they can be proud of, and feel safe in.

The project aligns well with two other community initiatives in the school – its Junior Neighbourhood Support Scheme and its school travel plan. Fernlea  School`s travel plan encourages pupils to walk, scooter and bike to school, and make fewer trips by car.

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Safe Hutt Valley and partners held an event in June 2014 to educate young drivers, and promote good choices around alcohol and drugs.

The event included a moving presentation from the mother of one of the young people injured in a drink driving crash which killed two and injured seven. A stage play, hands-on activities and a real-life story about how friends helped Rio Hemopo overcome drug-related issues helped to reinforce the key messages of looking out for your mates and making good decisions.

More than 2,000 college students from six schools were involved in the week long event held in Upper Hutt.

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Safe Hutt Valley is supporting NZTA’s See the Person Share the Road campaign, which encourages drivers to look out for cyclists, and reminds all road users to be courteous to one another and share the road safely. Safe Hutt Valley partners Upper Hutt City Council and Hutt City Council are supporting the campaign by putting up billboards and giving away high visibility cycle vests labelled with Mum, Dad, Auntie, Brother etc. to remind drivers that cyclists are people too, not just bikes ‘in the way’. See NZTA’s website for more information about the See the Person, Share the Road campaign.