There were no cats and dogs on November 3, just enthusiasm from individuals eager to be part of a like-minded group on our walk along Rosebank Road in support of Gumboot Friday.
Gumboot Friday is a charitable initiative that encourages people to don their gumboots and support mental health awareness and services. On Friday, 3November, despite the rain, dedicated employees from our Rosebank businesses and the I Am Hope Foundation staff braved the weather to show their support for this worthy cause.
Founded in New Zealand by comedian and mental health advocate Mike King, the campaign has gained traction as a creative and light-hearted way to address the serious issue of mental health. The symbolic act of wearing gumboots not only raises funds but also sparks conversations about mental wellbeing, helping to reduce stigma and promote a supportive community.
The I Am Hope Foundation is passionately committed to delivering immediate, free counselling services for any young person in New Zealand aged 25 or under.
The RBA was approached by Autex Industries to do a joint venture to advocate for Gumboot Friday. The majority of businesses in our Rosebank business community have young employees in this very vulnerable space, making it a real-world problem. There can be a variety of reasons why people find it hard to reach out for help or know where to start.
To encourage participation, the RBA initiated spot prize giveaways, along with a Gumboot Friday photo competition for those businesses unable to attend the walk. A variety of Gumboot Friday paraphernalia was given away on the day, including the major prize of a home-office printer, courtesy of RBA Associate Member FujiFilm.
We extend our gratitude to Fair Food for providing the ingredients to make Gumboot Friday cookies, which were given away during the walk. Special thanks also to Autex Industries for generously supplying the BBQ food for our very hungry gumboot walkers.
And finally, kudos to all those who turned up to walk. Gumboot Friday has become a global movement, emphasising the importance of mental health and the power of unity in fostering positive change.