Ready For Christmas With $2 Million Available For Free Counselling For Rangatahi Across Aotearoa
As the country heads towards Christmas holidays, Gumboot Friday is ready to offer more than 14,000 free counselling sessions for the nation’s rangatahi via $2 million in available funds.
While the country winds down for what has been one of our most challenging years in modern history, Gumboot Friday is gearing up for a busy holiday season with its services more in demand than ever.
The Gumboot Friday service has achieved 100% growth in 2021, exacerbated by the extended Covid-19 lockdown and isolation endured by young people.
Launching its online service earlier in September, the charity has been inundated by requests for help from young people and families in need.
This year alone, young people from all over New Zealand have used Gumboot Friday’s platform to access more than 8,000 professional counselling sessions with 43% of users being between the ages of 8 and 15 years old.
Overarching charity, I AM HOPE’s founder and mental health champion, Mike King says he’s pleased more children will receive the help they need.
“Lockdown, isolation, separation from peers and friends, and being stuck in a house or a room for extended periods of time is a recipe for mental health disaster, and our kids have been bearing the brunt.
“While the whole country winds down and gets ready to farewell 2021, undoubtedly one of the most brutal years we’ve endured in recent times as a nation, Gumboot Friday is preparing for a busy holiday season.
“Many kids are still reeling from the effects of extended isolation, and are dealing with those feelings now. Many don’t get to experience a normal Christmas, with friends, family or loved ones. There won’t be any delicious Christmas feasts or presents and we need to be there for these kids.
“When they come to us in their most crucial time of need, we’ll be able to provide them with a counsellor within a week, where ever they are in the country. Face to face, or online. It all starts with a click of a button on the Gumboot Friday website.
“Our heartfelt thanks go to everyday Kiwis who make up the thousands-strong Gumboot Army up and down the country, who have picked up the slack to ensure our rangatahi get the help they need.”
Next year’s Gumboot Friday hallmark fundraising events will be held on 20 May and 4 November 2022.