New development courses announced 

Violence Free Waipā co-ordinator Ruth Nicholls, 

Two new community courses in Cambridge this month will offer strategies to combat Covid-related stressors and chart a more positive path through life.

Both courses are free of charge and are being offered by Violence Free Waipā.  Anyone aged 17 and over is welcome to attend.

The first, Whakahonohono Mai, will run on Monday mornings from 10am to noon, starting on February 14.  It is the first stage in a community-based

Women’s Leadership and Personal Development Programme aimed at helping participants learn about rediscovering their strengths and dreams, and develop an understanding of their personal worth, strength and purpose.  The intention is to set goals around those values in a friendly group setting.

The second course, called Te Kaupapa Whakamana, will run on Tuesday evenings from 6-8pm starting on February 15.  This first stage in a Men’s Leadership Development Programme will help men make healthy choices and achieve their full potential.  The course content will look at the importance of healthy, supportive and positive ‘life influencers’ to combat unhealthy habits and relationships. It will include key principles around leadership, being a good father and leadership in the workplace.

Violence Free Waipā co-ordinator Ruth Nicholls said the courses had not been held locally before.  All sessions will be held at Cambridge Community House.

“We have been in talks with Transform Aotearoa for the last year to get a life-transforming programme here. It’s the first of its kind in New Zealand, and is now here in Cambridge,” she said.

She said the Cambridge Community House had seen a significant increase in requests for all types of support over the past two years.  Calls to Cambridge Police regarding family violence had increased, as had calls to Citizens Advice Bureau.

“People are reaching out… this can no longer be swept under the rug using Covid as an excuse. People have reflected during these times and are seeking an opportunity for help that comes without mandate, affiliation, obligation or cost.  These courses are not mandated, they are not affiliated with any religion and there are no obligations, other than wanting to empower yourself and transform the lives of those around you.”

The course sessions will be held at Cambridge Community House, 193 Shakespeare St in Leamington, where wraparound services are available if required.

Ruth said it was not essential to be Covid-vaccinated, but mask-wearing, scanning in and social distancing will be practiced in line with government protocols at the red traffic light level.  She also said that while the courses are free, a koha from those able to afford it would be appreciated.
For more information email Ruth at

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