Northlanders get behind Gumboot Friday charity appeal

The ‘Whangārei Gumboot Army’ raising funds on Bank St, for mental health charity Gumboot Friday. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Northlanders have put their best foot forward to support national mental health charity Gumboot Friday.

A series of events to raise funds for the charity were held across Northland on Gumboot Friday, the charity set up by Northland woman Joesephine Nathan and taken on by national mental health campaigner Mike King.

The aim of the charity is to provide free mental health support and counselling for young Kiwis to stop them dying. Fifteen to 19-year-olds have the second-highest suicide rate in New Zealand after people aged 20-24, according to data from the Office of the Chief Coroner.

The team at Whangārei fitness studio Activ8 teamed up with The Hits Northland to host 12 hours of back-to-back workouts for the 2022 Gumboot Friday Appeal.

Activ8 co-owner Miranda Harrison said the event was their way of “significantly” helping those who need it most.

“Mental health affects everyone somehow – especially over the past two years. This event will hopefully raise awareness of how exercise can help, and [we can] come together as a community to do our bit for I Am Hope and Gumboot Friday,” she said.

Harrison said some people had intended doing the whole 12 hours, and others would tap in for a few hours at a time or pop in for a coffee and bite to eat.

Mike and Kelly Burr (both in orange) did 12 hours of fitness for Gumboot Friday at Activ8, in Whangārei. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Mike and Kelly Burr (both in orange) did 12 hours of fitness for Gumboot Friday at Activ8, in Whangārei. Photo / Michael Cunningham

The Baker’s Crust was one of many businesses urging Northlanders to “get your gumboots out” to bolster fundraising efforts by I Am Hope and the 2022 Gumboot Friday Appeal.

The bakery’s owner, David Hall, said they had always wanted to take part in Gumboot Friday, and made it happen this year using strange flavour combinations in their pies.

A combination of “Gumboot Pie” sales and generous donations into the gumboot beside the till meant the bakery has raised more than $1000 – double their $500 goal.

As well the ‘Whangārei Gumboot Army’ was out on the streets on Gumboot Friday collecting donations for the cause.

For more information go to

Where to get help:
• Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
• Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
• Youth services: (06) 3555 906
• Youthline: 0800 376 633
• Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
• Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
• Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
• Helpline: 1737
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

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