More than 300 children armed with teddy bears or their favourite toy turned out for a day of education and fun last Wednesday at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic.
Last week was National Child Protection Week and in support of raising awarness of child abuse and neglect in the Gunnedah community, Gunnedah Family Support in conjunction with the Gunnedah Domestic Violence and Child Protection Interagency Committee hosted their annual ‘Teddy Bear’s Picnic’.
The event brought schools, preschools, day care centres, local health and community organisations together to raise awareness and enable all involved to have a great day at Wolseley Park.
Research shows that the best way to prevent child abuse and neglect is by building communities that support and value children and families.
This campaign works towards educating communities, not only of the impact child abuse and neglect has on children, but to emphasise that the safety and wellbeing of Australia’s children is everyone’s business.
Children from St Xavier’s, Gunnedah South, Gunnedah Public, Carinya, Gunnedah Preschool, Mary Ranken, Belly Buttons Mothers Group and local families from the community attended the successful day.
There were 240 entries in the colouring in competition, with 29 winners receiving beautiful book prizes generously donated by Scholastic.
New England Medicare Local gave away 450 balloons throughout the day and Gunnedah Rotary cooked 550 sausages for the hungry crowd.
Gunnedah Family Daycare staff painted a never-ending sea of faces and had play-dough on hand for activities.
Gunnedah Family Support Caseworker, Mel McCulloch thanked all the organisations and people who made the day a great success.
“It was a wonderful day for all involved and we thank all the organisations and families for their involvement in creating a fun day for the kids,” she said.
Gunnedah High School kept the children entertained with their dance routines and also provided a fun stamping table which the children enjoyed immensely.
St Mary’s College drama group provided a message to the kids about being a friend through skits and the Gunnedah Circus School entertained the crowd with their antics.
Gunnedah Outreach Supported Playgroup supplied fun craft activities and the Gunnedah Shire Library provided story time for the kids.
“We thank Gunnedah Shire Council Community Hub Worker, Lisa Warren who supported us financially and organised parachute games for the children,” Ms McCulloch said.
“Gunnedah PCYC Police Officer Trevor Roberts and Mrs Wise generously had pre-loved teddy bears on sale for a gold coin donation, the proceeds of which went to National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN),” she said.
“These wonderful people and organisations helped make the day the great success it was and we are grateful for everyone’s input.”