Earlier this year the HVNWA team made the decision that the 2015 World Hearing Voices Day celebrations would be taken out into the community for the first time rather than be held at Head Office, like previous years.
Whilst its always wonderful to have the events in house allowing the organisation and its staff members to be on board and attend, we believed this day offers the perfect opportunity to get out into the community, raise awareness and create conversations, so that’s exactly what we did!
The process began with Julie striking up a wonderful relationship with Armadale Council which was followed by fantastic support from Armadale Shopping City and Armadale Men’s Shed then securing donations from Kelmscott Spud Shed and our very own PIR.
We were incredibly honoured to have the Lord Mayor of Armadale, Henry Zelones, agree to come and speak at the event and cut the cake.
The team embraced the challenge of making the event as inviting as possible by ensuring there was a wide range of activities available to draw the crowds in.
The Men’s Shed in Armadale were kind enough to loan us the use of their ‘Blender Bike’ (As the title describes it’s a bike with a blender attached to the front, the more you pedal, the smoother your smoothie gets!). When the bike arrived to us it was looking pretty tired, old and bland, so we were offered the opportunity of decorating the bike with some art work. As a way of involving some of the individuals we work alongside we decided to have a day at Ngullia Mia decorating the bike with the help of some of the residents and some of our Hearing Voices Group members, and it now looks very impressive if I do say so myself.
As well as the blender bike we wanted to use the Audio simulation devices that we trialled at last year’s WHVD celebrations so we agreed those would come along with us, we also provided a couple of activities for people to take part in whilst wearing the headsets. We also were lucky enough to have the wonderful Giri agree to provide some entertainment for kids in the way of face painting, balloon art and magnetic fishing!
Finally, with a fairy floss machine and the biggest cake you have ever seen we were set! The day went ahead with enthusiasm and excitement and despite a couple of technical glitches the day was a huge success. We were thrilled to see a number of Richmond Wellbeing staff throughout the day (not sure if the copious amount of cake had anything to do with this!) as well as some of our group members and Kelmscott residents.
The Lord Mayor was incredibly supportive and took the time to hang around for a while and chat to people, some of the Armadale Council and Centre Management staff came along and joined us for a while too which much appreciated.
The challenge has now been accepted…we look forward to WHVD 2016 being even bigger and better!