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White Ribbon Campaign Support

Local motocross riders join council staff to support White Ribbon campaign

Riders from Wilden Motocross Club are showing their support for this year’s international White Ribbon campaign by wearing the ribbon, and donating vital funds to West Mercia Women’s Aid.

Riders, young and old, male and female, are backing the campaign to end violence against women and girls. It is being run over 16 days and ends on Saturday 10 December – Human Rights Day.  Rachel Symons, who works at Wyre Forest District Council, is part of the team promoting the campaign’s goal to local organisations. She is being encouraged by her son, 11-year-old son Sidney Elmer, who competes at the motocross club.

Tom Arnold, Wilden Motocross Club’s owner, jumped at the chance to support the campaign.  The club, based at Wolverley MX track, has over 100 junior members and is keen to attract more females.  This year more than 20 girls have joined, the youngest being just six years old.

He said: “Motocross is still a male dominated sport, but everyone can get racing. We’re all totally behind the campaign.  There’s no tolerance here for any bad behaviour towards women and girls on or off the track.”

The club’s enthusiasm to back the campaign led to a donation of £100 to help women in difficulty in Wyre Forest. Chambers Extreme Racing motocross club also donated £20.  The money is going to West Mercia Women’s Aid based in Kidderminster.

Joanna Midgley, Worcestershire County Manager of West Mercia Women’s Aid, said: “It was a lovely surprise to receive this donation. And very timely! Recent stats from March 2022 – September 2022 show there have been 524 women referred to us by the Police and other agencies in need of immediate specialist safety support because they are at high risk of harm. You can be sure we will spend this money where it is most needed.”

Councillor Graham Ballinger, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Culture, Leisure and Community Safety said: “The council is one hundred per cent behind the White Ribbon campaign. I am delighted that members of our staff are working with local groups to spread the word and very grateful to the two motocross clubs whose kind donation will go towards helping women at risk in our district.”

The helpline number for West Mercia Women’s Aid is 0800 783 1359 and further information is available at https://www.westmerciawomensaid.org/.