Last week, local primary school students, staff, parents and interested community members came together at the Hamilton Performing Arts Centre to learn and share stories/experiences from VicHealth 's Walk to School month. The aim was to learn from what we've done, seen and heard throughout the month and build ideas to make Walk to School month every month! The group came up with some great ideas to keep the momentum going, including;- Continuing to use drop off points- Keep doing group walks- Build better bike and scooter (road) safety skills- Implement a junior-senior school walking buddy system- Develop posters and visual prompts for use year around- Improve infrastructure; build better paths and safer road crossings Big thanks to George Street Primary School, Hamilton, Tarrington Lutheran School, Hamilton Gray St Primary School and Hamilton North Primary School for attending and sharing your stories. Thanks also to Cafe Gray for our fresh morning tea. Just because the official Walk to School month draws to a close today, there's no stopping now! Contact Ebony on 5551 8475 to find out more or to get involved.
Standing tall is a school based mentoring program ran out of Baimbridge College, matching trained volunteer mentors with at risk youth to establish trusting relationships for support, encouragement and guidance in the lives of young people. Karen (mentor) and Nyah (mentee) are one of the 17 current pairs in the program. Karen and Nyah have been a Standing Tall pair for 3 years now and have built a strong relationship that has benefitted them both. Karen and Nyah often use their weekly mentoring time to get out for a walk! Whilst on occasion the pair will also go on driving lessons or play table tennis, they have really embraced the social walk and both find it a great way to break up their day. Nyah says walking has helped strengthen her relationship with Karen, “I find it easier to talk about things while we walk and it’s good one on one time” says Nyah, “..it’s refreshing to go for a walk in the middle of the school day”. Karen says all the mentoring pairs should try using their mentoring time for walking, because there’s so much to see in our area. “We’ve been to HIRL, along the Grange, out to the Wannon Falls and through the gardens. The whole reason we started walking was to show Nyah more of what’s out there in Hamilton”. Standing Tall co-coordinator, Jane Crowe congratulates the pair for thinking outside the box and getting out and about. “It’s great for pairs to do something active, frequently in our program mentors take their mentees out for lunch, which is again great bonding time but sometimes not the best food choices are made. We’re looking to make healthier choices easier within our group as a whole, we now have a permanent fruit bowl in our mentoring space and display the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. It’s hard on our budget to provide healthy choices, but we are working on finding healthy alternatives”. A big congratulations to Nyah and Karen for trying something new and healthy within their mentoring time! We hope they set the scene for other pairs to follow their lead and enjoy some active outdoor time. To find out more about Standing Tall, you can contact Jane at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 5572 2788 . How is your school, workplace, sporting club or community group encouraging healthy choices when it comes to food and activity? Let us share your story, contact Ebony at email@example.com or phone 5551 8475