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03 December 2021 | Community

The Warehouse Group step up to the challenge with fundraiser for mental health

The Warehouse Group has raised $1,270 to support young Kiwis’ mental health through a step challenge for charity partners Life Education Trust, Youthline and the Parenting Place.

It’s no secret that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on how we interact with others, the way we work and how we go about our daily lives. During this unprecedented time, mental health has become more important than ever.

The Warehouse Group’s Store Support Office step challenge ran from October to November to support team members' mental health during Auckland’s strict lockdown period. The challenge motivated team members to keep active through weekly challenges and created healthy competition between teams, all while raising much needed funds for The Warehouse Group’s charity partners.

Buying Commercial and Supplier Relationships Chapter Member Lonnica Van Engelen originally created the challenge as a fundraiser, which quickly created its own momentum with team members documenting their walks and creating a 180 strong online ‘stepper’ community.

“Our wellbeing impacts every aspect of our lives, and in these uncertain and challenging times, it's more crucial than ever to support others. I could see the toll the lockdown was having on the teams and thought we could use this challenge to create a reason to get outside and challenge our movement each day, whilst connecting virtually, she says.

I was blown away by the amount of team members that wanted to be a part of the step challenge. It was never about the most steps, or the best stepper,’ it was about challenging yourself, doing more than you normally would, and taking care of our mental health.

"We're proud to support our long-standing charity partners, and we hope the funds raised through the challenge will help to make a difference for many young Kiwis who are struggling with mental health," Lonnica says.

Over 140 team members from The Warehouse Group’s Store Support Office participated by running, walking and cycling, which resulted in a total of 35 million steps and 1.8 million calories burnt.

Commercial Planning Chapter Member Carl Andersson supported the initiative, encouraging teams to get involved and motivated with daily challenges. “The step challenge was created to help foster a sense of togetherness amongst Store Support Office team members while we worked from home, and to encourage us to try and be more active.

It’s been uplifting to see us all out and about getting our steps in and encouraging each other, while raising funds for our charity partners.”

Life Education Trust Chief Executive John O'Connell says funds raised will help inspire over 3,800 children in schools across the country to make positive choices for their health and wellbeing.

“We’re very grateful to the team at The Warehouse Group for fundraising for Life Education through their Step Challenge. It’s been tough for a lot of our young people this year and fundraising events have largely been cancelled through COVID-19 restrictions. The funds The Warehouse Group team raised will support our work in primary and intermediate schools, particularly our work supporting teachers and our tamariki to develop resilience and tactics to manage stress.”

The Warehouse Group have been partnering with Life Education Trust for nine years.

Youthline Chief Executive Shae Ronald says last year the Helpline managed more than 243,000 contacts from young people across New Zealand facing some of the toughest moments of their lives. Of the hundreds of texts Youthline receives each day, 1 in 5 is related to suicide and 2 in 5 related to anxiety, depression, self-harm and suicide.

“Our Helpline service has seen high levels of demand through the latest COVID-19 outbreak. The four busiest weeks for our Helpline service for the year to date have all occurred during the latest lockdown period.”

“The proceeds raised through The Warehouse Group fundraising initiatives go towards supporting our Helpline service which is essential in ensuring that young people have a safe place to turn to when they need it most, says Shae Ronald.

Parenting Place Chief Executive Dave Atkinson says the organisation is pleased to team up with The Warehouse Group to support young people’s mental health.

“We are extremely grateful to The Warehouse Group for the funds they have raised through the step challenge. Funds raised will be used to build Parenting Place’s online resources – specifically a bank of articles that will equip parents to support their kids in mental health, with topics such as teaching kids mindfulness, understanding emotion regulation and helping young people with anxiety.”

The donations will also help the Parenting Place provide courses to empower parents with tools and insights to help reduce stress, feel more confident and more able to support their children.

“We are incredibly proud of our partnership with The Warehouse Group, enabling the support of thousands of New Zealand families,” says Dave Atkinson.

The Warehouse Group is proud of its continued support for its local charity partners and New Zealand communities.

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