Stu­dents rally for Women’s Refuge

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CHRIS­TINE WALSH

While Taranaki folk dug deep in their pock­ets to give dur­ing the re­cent Women’s Refuge An­nual Street Ap­peal, the young peo­ple who braved the cold blast to rat­tle the do­na­tion buck­ets were just as heart-warm­ing too.

About 40 vol­un­teers from schools and or­gan­i­sa­tions from across the re­gion were out in full force sta­tioned out­side var­i­ous out­lets re­cently. Col­lec­tors came from St Mary’s Strat­ford, New Ply­mouth Boys’ High School, New Ply­mouth Girls’ High School, Sa­cred Heart Col­lege, Fran­cis Dou­glas Memorial Col­lege, NewTa­mariki Oranga, Opunake High School, and City West Church

‘‘It was bril­liant to see young peo­ple out col­lect­ing to sup­port their lo­cal women and chil­dren.’’ said the refuge’s re­la­tion­ships man­ager, Shona Smith.

‘‘Hav­ing peo­ple give up their time and be­ing out there lit­er­ally stand­ing up for what we do is a very hum­bling feel­ing, it’s al­most like a pat on the back.’’

Many of the schools and or­gan­i­sa­tions were long-time sup­port­ers of the street ap­peal and Smith said it was al­ways in­cred­i­bly pos­i­tive to have our ‘fu­ture gen­er­a­tion out there col­lect­ing for us.’

‘‘I was so happy with the girls. It was a freez­ing cold wet day and they stuck it out with­out any com­plaints,’’ said Maree O’Con­nor from St Mary’s, Strat­ford.

The re­sponse from peo­ple who were en­ter­ing the out­lets with shop­ping on their mind was also hum­bling. Many went in and got change out to do­nate as they left.

Each year, an av­er­age of 14 women and 10 chil­dren are killed in New Zealand by a fam­ily mem­ber and more than 3500 con­vic­tions are recorded against men for as­saults on women. Taranaki Women’s Refuge has pro­vided ser­vices in the re­gion for more than three decades and the street ap­peal also served as a way to raise aware­ness of the is­sue.

While refuge re­ceives some fund­ing from gov­ern­ment it is re­liant on spon­sor­ship and dona­tions from the com­mu­nity to sur­vive. All pro­ceeds raised from the ap­peal will go di­rectly to the lo­cal refuge to sup­port the re­gion’s women and chil­dren af­fected by fam­ily vi­o­lence.

‘‘We have a com­mu­nity out there that recog­nises the need,’’ Smith said,

For more in­for­ma­tion call 06 7695553, visit the or­gan­i­sa­tions face­book or email re­la­tion­ships@taranaki­wom­en­srefuge.co.nz

CHRIS­TINE WALSH

Daniel McWat­ters, Cal­lum Shim­min and Rory Bevins from New Ply­mouth Boys High School col­lect­ing up a storm for char­ity.

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