Inspire Award Winner 2012 - Chris Green
Name Chris Green
Founder and Director of the White Ribbon Campaign was nominated for his services to the local community and his campaign against male domestic violence towards women. The campaign aims to educate men about domestic violence and change perceptions and prevent it from happening In the future.
What does the Inspire Award mean to you?
It is a great honour to receive such a prestigious award and as an Olympic torchbearer I am very proud to follow in the footsteps of the double gold paralympian Hannah Cockroft.
It is a huge honour for me to receive the award, but also for all the volunteers of the White Ribbon Campaign. It is really the work they do which I benefit from in collecting this award.
When was the White Ribbon Campaign established?
We started the White Ribbon campaign 7 years ago and to start with, nothing really happened and then over the years we got busier and busier. Now we advise the government, we managed to have the biggest ever white ribbon displayed on the side of a multi-storey building and we also managed to get one displayed in Antarctica which is the most remote settlement in the world, so we are very pleased – this is all down to the work of the volunteers that do the same sort of work as us.
The thing with White Ribbon was as I said before to start with nothing happened, but we persevered and now we are advisors to government and involved with supporting groups from around the world
How did your qualifications help you achieve where you are today?
I have never stopped studying and even now when I go on day courses as a speaker I have stayed for the rest of the event and learnt from other people who are there. But during the course of my life I have done an awful lot of part time studying and that has been very valuable combining working with studying in the evenings and that has been most useful to me as I have changed my careers as nobody these days has one job, you have to keep changing careers and so you have to keep studying and keep that mix of useful qualifications coming.
What was your dream as a child?
I was going to become a professional footballer – isn’t every lad. I used to go out and practice and practice every night at the back on the waste ground behind my house, but it never came to that, but I still play football now – so quite often the dream can become an interesting hobby and what you can do is have a proper job and just enjoy your skill and make sure that fulfills your life as well.
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things could you not live without?
A boat to be able to get off, because I am quite a social person, probably a photograph of my partner celebrating 30 years this year - it is nice to know somebody out there still loves you, some seeds to grow food with and other practical things maybe some string to tie things up with.
What are the main messages you want to get across about White Ribbon Campaign?
The White Ribbon Campaign is unique in the UK in that we ask men to take responsibility for the actions of both themselves and for other men as well because men are the solution to violence against women. They are the problem, but they are also the solution, and if men start to organise and start to speak out about violence than other guys will listen to them and also men are often positions of influence in organisations so they can influence policies and make changes there and that’s what we want to happen. So if we want to put an end to violence against women we have to involve men.
And what’s the secret to the success of the White Ribbon campaign and your successes?
Hard work and perseverance and every time there has been an opportunity to just grab it and that is how we operated for the first few years and now we are starting to put structures in place.
What words of wisdom can you give students at Calderdale College?
The advice I have for graduating students is don’t give up, be yourself, be passionate about what you want to be, be committed about what you want to achieve and just go out and do it. Go out and achieve, you can do it, but don’t sit on a sofa and wait for people to come to you; you’ve got to make it happen.