Progress for meth awareness cause

Clutha District Council community support and development adviser Jean Proctor shows off the new MAC Clutha Youth Council anti-meth campaign logo at council headquarters in Balclutha yesterday. Photo: Richard Davison
Clutha District Council community support and development adviser Jean Proctor shows off the new MAC Clutha Youth Council anti-meth campaign logo at council headquarters in Balclutha yesterday. Photo: Richard Davison
South Otago youth hope a new meth awareness campaign will help bring users of the drug back into the fold.

A campaign to raise awareness of the drug's effects on all members of a community was conceived by Clutha District Youth Council last May, and dubbed methamphetamine awareness campaign (MAC) Clutha in September.

Now the campaign has taken another step forward with the release of logos and branding, and confirmation of a community march and gathering in Balclutha next month.

Clutha District Council community support and development adviser Jean Proctor, who is council liaison for the youth-driven campaign, said excitement was mounting for the event, to be held on March 23.

''This is the culmination of almost a year's hard work and planning by our Youth Council, and we're asking the community to step out on March 23 and show their support.

''Meth is a growing problem in all our communities, and through this and future events, we hope to raise awareness and start the conversation.''

She said the march was not about protest, but about bringing people together in an ''atmosphere of support''.

''This isn't about judging people. Only by bringing users and those impacted by the far-reaching effects of this drug back into the fold, and supporting and helping them reclaim their lives, can we make a difference.''

Car pooling was being organised from schools in Tapanui, Lawrence, Milton and Owaka to join marchers in Balclutha at the War Memorial Hall at noon.

From there, those gathered would march to the town's Elizabeth St plaza, then the Cross Recreation Centre, where Amped4Life drug awareness organisation founder Pat Buckley and others would speak about their experiences from 1pm.

Mrs Proctor said the Youth Council had received messages of support from across the South Otago community while planning the event.

''This is a free event, for everyone, from those affected directly by the drug, to those worried about its growing effects on their community.

''The most important thing we can do is show up, and show we care.''

Logos designed by Youth Council members would feature on T-shirts and other promotional materials for the campaign.

''Now we have a clear identity, we can look to the future.

''The Youth Council wants to start MAC Clutha with a bang next month, then keep that momentum going.''

richard.davison@odt.co.nz

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