Thu, May 23, 2024 4:15 PM

Pink positivity brings anti bullying power


William Woodworth

Local Pink Shirt Day champions and Marlborough Youth Trust (MYT) staff Lee Tepuia, Maxine Sweeney and Lottie Savage have been speaking at schools across the region.

The MYT team wants Marlburians of all ages to change their daily mindset and find positives about themselves and others.

And schools and businesses have been quick to help make a stand, turning up in pink to mark the special day on Friday.

From Picton to Kaikōura, the MYT team have been encouraging others to ditch negative thoughts and help create positivity.

“It's hard. But you can create goodness and positivity easily,” Maxine says.

“We all crave kindness, we crave acceptance and want to be part of a group which, as positivity, shows as a

Staff from Giesen Winery mark Pink Shirt Day in style. Photo: Supplied.

team mentality, and negatively presents as a bullying pack mentality.

“So isolating people due to any factor - race, appearance, gender, sexuality, disability, ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’- is a massively lonely place going against everything that we are wired to be as humans.”

Lee agrees, saying while cycles of negativity and bullying are easy to pass to others, positivity is even easier to pass on.

“We’re opening up conversations, acknowledging we're not all the same people and that while people are different, they may also have something that you admire,” he explains.

“Even a ‘good morning’, a positive start to the day can set someone else up for having a good day because positivity is infectious, and you can make someone’s day just by showing you care.”

The team at RMA Financial, from left, Glenda Simpson, Mike Tonks, Louise Kingi, Molly Norton and Nikki Page turned up the pink in support of the anti bullying awareness day. Photo: William Woodworth.

Lottie says negativity, especially in young people, is originating more and more from their self-image and negative comparisons.

“The image of themselves is more negative than it has ever been, trying hold themselves to insane comparisons”.

“I just think that's so backwards rather than celebrating the positives we have, because if everyone was the same the world would be pretty boring!”

“It’s almost a cliché, but you should not only treat others how you want to be treated but treat yourself how you want to be treated too”.

Maxine says MYT is a place where all kids are encouraged to be themselves.

MP Stuart Smith wore pink to support Pink Shirt Day. Photo: William Woodworth.

“We hear ‘that kid's a bully’, you know, but when we see them here face-to-face, they drop their guard down and be who they really are.

“But that side of them maybe had been taken advantage of in a variety of way, so gets hidden. They've never just naughty or aggressive kids, there’s always more to it.”

Where to find help and support:

  • Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
  • What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
  • Lifeline - 0800 543 354
  • Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email or online chat
  • Samaritans - 0800 726 666
  • Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
  • Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584
Teachers and students at Bohally Intermediate were visited by Marlborough Youth Trust staff sharing the anti-bullying message ahead of Pink Shirt Day. Photo: William Woodworth.
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