Strong southerlies and a few chilly passing showers weren’t enough to put off 200 walkers who braved the elements to show their support for a family-violence free northwest Auckland on Sunday 27th May.
The second annual Turning The Tide Fundraising Walk saw 175 people walk 17-kilometres from Rimmer Road access to the beach near Helensville to the Muriwai Surf Club.
Another 20 joined the main bunch for the final 4-kilometre hikoi. The group was welcomed to the Surf Club with a performance by the Kahurangi Ki Kaipara Kapa Haka group.
The walk which aims to Turn The Tide on family violence is organised by Kia Timata Ano Trust, the local women’s refuge serving the area from Taupaki and Riverhead, through Kumeu and Huapai to Waimauku, Muriwai and Woodhill.
As well as providing emergency safe housing for women and children, the refuge has advocates who go out in the community and see over 300 people a year who have called police because of violence in the home.
Trust Executive Director Ana Christmas, says “while there’ll always be a need for refuge as a way for women to escape an abusive relationship, we work really hard to help people before they get to that point and to give them the tools they need to live in safety.”
The money raised through this year’s walk will go towards employing a male advocate to work with men - both users and receivers of violence - in the community.
At about the 6-kilometre mark, the walkers paused for a “Gratitude Station,” where they were invited to write the name on a shell of someone they were grateful for or who needed some love sent their way. The shells were left on the beach to be taken away by the tide.
While it was mostly dry on the walk, there were some passing showers to contend with but organisers reminded walkers that “people in domestic violence situations don’t get to call a rain day.” The final tally is still being collated, but the money raised has topped $17,0000.
For more information contact: Rochelle Gillespie,
p: 021654610 E: firstname.lastname@example.org.