A healthier Aotearoa starts in the places we live, learn, work, and play. And its exactly these environments where the people of Clendon are looking to influence smokefree behaviours in their community.
Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura found smoking cessation goals barely featured in the personal or neighbourhood priorities of Clendon locals. Instead the community highlighted issues like ‘unloved’ facilities, safety and opportunities for young people as key concerns. There was also a real interest in cleaning up the local environment.
In light of the above, a group of interested stakeholders agreed on a different, ‘off-centred’ approach to a smokefree Clendon based around a hyper-local campaign to create ‘loved spaces’ within the central business district.
“The focus is around how people show value and take pride in their shared community spaces, and to leverage opportunities for the community’s youth,” said Rachel Enosa, Chief Executive of the Alliance Community Initiatives Trust.
“By enhancing the town centre’s vibrancy and useability we believe the space will be treated differently. There is no easy way to create a smokefree Aotearoa and it will take a whole community commitment and effort. Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura is working with communities to make small, incremental changes to the environments where people spend most of their time. If these changes are locally owned and driven, we’ll start to see a real impact on the smoking statistics for the people of Clendon,” says Ms Enosa.
“When we start loving the spaces we spend time in, the way we interact with the environment begins to change too. If Clendon public spaces are clean, green and well loved, community members will want to give back to it by doing things like creating a non-smoking environment. The loved space will in turn become a health-promoting space by its very nature,” said Serena Lal, Activator with Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura.
A smokefree space is only one benefit in the initiative. Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura is hoping that a revitalised space could ignite other health promoting ideas and green space initiatives.
The Clendon Smokefree campaign is a collaboration between the Manurewa Local Board, Clendon Leisure Centre, Manukau Beautification Trust, Manurewa Marae, Healthy Families Manukau, Manurewa-Papakura, local businesses and other interested stakeholders.
If you would like to collaborate in creating a loved-space in the Clendon CBD, contact Tracey Walker at [email protected]