Article by Dave Glover
Images: supplied: above image shows Dave Glover centre with two T4T supporters at Cobourg Lions Centre
Tattoos 4Trauma just wrapped up its second year.
The community fund-raising event was created by Sue Dingsdale Glover and her sister Theresa Rickerby, in memory and honour of Sue’s son David Glover who is also my son.
This year, Tattoos 4 Trauma partnered with the County of Northumberland to raise funds for the Northumberland Warming Hub.
The goal was to raise $20,000.
Along with the goal of supporting the warming hub, $1,500 for the Green Wood Coalition and an equal amount for Moms Stop the Harm was raised. Both organization provide street-level support in our community.
In the end, the original goal was greatly surpassed with $28,352.08 brought in.
The day began with a traditional 1st Nations smudging and strawberry ceremony led by Indigenous educators from the Alderville 1st Nation.
Miigqwtch to Kathy Mcleod, Julie Bothwell, Jen Niles and Oralie George.
For those unfamiliar, smudging is the ceremonial cleansing of one’s spirit with sacred smoke.
The ceremony ended with drumming to welcome the day and to bless Tattoos 4 Trauma.
The doors officially opened at 10 am with more than 500 people passing through the Cobourg Lion’s Centre doors before 5 pm.
One hundred and fifty-two people chose to be tattooed, some for the 1st time, many in honour of a lost loved one and others getting Inked for other reasons.
Many showed up just to share in the joy of the atmosphere. People from all walks of life sharing their stories, many for the 1st time, recognizing the safety of the space and the encouraging atmosphere.
Tattoos 4 Trauma is held in aid and support of Men’s Mental Health, and this year, we are proud to have gathered together the most extensive list of agencies and support access in Northumberland County ever.
Many groups and organizations offered support across a range of support services from grief counselling and personal growth to victims support for sexual trauma and others.
Representatives were on hand networking with attendees, introducing themselves and listening.
Many who came were able to make connections and appointments for further contact.
It was an opportunity to connect to services many of those in attendance didn’t know existed.
It was also a family event.
A safe place where people, whole families and friends in grief were in the company of others sharing similar circumstances. At times, it felt like a one giant community hug.
Moving around the room, I talked to people from as far away as Waterloo who heard about the event from friends and family or online.
It was an important community milestone that allowed people living with, through and around trauma to be free to express and explore their feelings and emotions. Without having to check their reactions. Sharing stories, realizing that they weren’t alone.
There was a well-received Bar-B-Que supported by donations and sponsored by Foodland.
The store generously provided all of the food, 100%, including beverages and condiments for the benefit of Tattoos 4 Trauma.
There was also a huge Prize Table, loaded with items and gift certificates all donated by our community’s generous local retailers and service providers.
When I say “our community”, I mean from Brighton, Cramahe and Castleton through Cobourg and Port Hope and all parts in between.
The outpouring of support was tremendous.
Thanks to all who helped make Tattoos 4 Trauma an enjoyable, rewarding and supportive event.
Thanks also to the musicians who donated their time to entertain the attendees:Bruce Longman, Joyce and Perry, Fiona Milner Woods and Hepburn.
In fact, thanks to all who came out made Tattoos4Trauma a huge success. I am not going out on a limb when I say, many like me, are already looking forward to next year.
See: Event website: https://tattoos4trauma.com/
See: County info about the Warming Hub: https://www.northumberland.ca/en/living-here/housing-and-shelter.aspx
Online portal to support services: https://thegatehouse.org/
Online personal crisis support: https://talksuicide.ca/