Guys who get it: Val Sarjeant ensures safety for all!

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From city hall to city streets, Val Sarjeant ensures safety for all.

As a Health, Safety and Wellness Specialist for the City of Hamilton, Chair for Hamilton Safe Communities Coalition and the MentorAction Working Group, Val Sarjeant does not shy away from hard work and responsibility. A dedicated employee of the City of Hamilton for over 27 years, Sarjeant’s long-standing career has certainly allowed him other opportunities to engage with Hamilton beyond the walls of City Hall.

A tireless volunteer Sarjeant has received numerous community service awards including the Marg Brokenshire Award, Ray Lewis Sport Leadership Award, John C. Holland Community Service Award, City of Hamilton Distinguish Service Award and the 2014 Athletics Ontario Volunteer of the Year Award.

Illuminessence is pleased to highlight some of the reasons why Val Sarjeant is a Guy Who Gets It!

Ensuring workplace wellness

“I’m involved in health, wellness and safety issues as it pertains to Hamilton employees,” explained Sarjeant in relation to his employment for the City. “In addition to dealing with employees or managers that may have specific health and safety issues we’re also proactive in that we help to implement programs and services that will comply with legislation,” Sarjeant said. Indeed this role has allowed Sarjeant to involve himself with other community-based initiatives.

Val Sarjeant & Mentor Action Board Members  (Photo supplied by Val Sarjeant)

Val Sarjeant & Mentor Action Board Members (Photo supplied by Val Sarjeant)

Coordinating change

Sarjeant has been a part of MentorAction for about 2 years. As a volunteer committee, the organization consists of 12 men with community influence that meet on a monthly basis. In total there are about 45-50 people involved with some of MentorAction’s larger initiatives.

“The goal is to work toward eliminating gender violence in our community…our mantra is that we need men to stand up too,” said Sarjeant.

As stated on their website, “MentorAction has been raising awareness about the role men play in gendered violence and working to come up with strategies to redefine masculinity and make Hamilton a safer place.”

Sarjeant stressing the need for an organization such as MentorAction, said;

“There have been women’s organizations that have been doing a lot of good work in this area with very little support from men,”

Community collaboration

Sarjeant shed light on some of MentorAction’s community involvement, including that of collaboration with women’s group in the City. In fact, one of MentorAction’s key roles, in addition to engaging and developing resources and support systems to help male leaders redefine masculinity, is to work in partnership with community partners.

“Although our organization is primarily all males we are working and rolling out initiatives so that what we’re doing is aligned with what [women’s groups] are doing. We’re male allies,” Sarjeant explained.

Moving forward Sarjeant explained that MentorAction hopes to facilitate a similar event to that of Toronto’s White Ribbon Conference.

For more information on MentorAction visit mentoraction.orgSpearheading city-wide safety

Sarjeant is also Chair for Hamilton Safe Communities Coalition. “They’ve been around for about 15 years and they’re part of a national organization called Parachute,” explained Sarjeant. Existing in various places across the country, Sarjeant explained that the mandate of Hamilton Safe Communities Coalition is to make each community the safest in Canada. “So basically what we do is work with community partners. One of the major programs we’ve partnered with is called Cyclemania. It is a bicycle safety education program for kids in grade schools,” said Sarjeant.

For more information on Hamilton Safe Communities Coalition visit hamiltonsafecommunities.on.ca

Natalie Timperio is a freelance writer of everything as related to life and style. Her mantra? Write, edit, sleep. Repeat. You can hear more from her on https://twitter.com/natalietimperio. To find out more about her writing and related experience visit her website http://natalietimperio.com/