On 2 December 2020 Radio NZ and the Dominion Post covered the launch of CCNZ Youth Ambassador Nicole Thornton’s “I Can’t Wait” campaign.
In a ceremony in Lower Hutt, Nicole asked businesses to place stickers in their windows, stating that they honour the CCNZ “I Can’t Wait” card. Nicole’s said that her goal was to have businesses participate in every city throughout New Zealand so people with IBD can feel free to venture outside the home without the fear of having an accident.
At the Lower Hutt launch Nicole was introduced by Mayor Campbell Barry and Helen Downs, CEO of the Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce. Last month Nicole was the guest speaker at similar launches in Dunedin and Upper Hutt, also hosted by the cities’ mayors. Grey District Council, Hawkes Bay Regional Council, and New Plymouth District Council have all endorsed the campaign. Christchurch, Hurunui, Nelson, and Tauranga are the latest councils to express interest in the campaign.
We now have over 100 businesses participating and the number is growing every day. Numerous venues nationwide also have Nicole’s stickers in their windows, including libraries, recreation centres, even the Otago Museum.
Very encouraging talks are currently in progress with event organisers and security staffs in Auckland so the “I Can’t Wait Card” can be recognised at busy public venues such as concerts, where quick toilet access is often next to impossible.
We are all indebted to Nicole, who, at only twelve years of age, submitted a petition to Parliament asking that businesses open their toilets to people with chronic medical conditions. Now, four years later, we are seeing real, measurable results. We thank her the tireless and enthusiastic work she has done on our behalf.
If you would like to help sign up businesses in your community, contact Belinda Brown. We can supply you with educational materials for businesses that explain the programme as well as stickers to place in their windows. You can also contact Belinda if you need an “I Can’t Wait Card”. They are free. A list of participating business can be found on the CCNZ web page.
Download the education sheet here.
Download the application form for an "I Can't Wait" card here.
Email Belinda for more information here.