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03 April 2020 | Community

Celebrating Gumboot Friday

As we all adjust to a new way of living and working, it’s more important than ever that we all keep our mental health in check.

In honour of Gumboot Friday, The Warehouse has created three custom gumboots for women, men and children, with $5 from each pair sold going towards I Am Hope. The charity, created by Mike King, aims to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and support free counselling for Kiwis in need.

Last year, I am Hope raised $1.3 million through Gumboot Friday, which provided 10,670 counselling sessions to more than 2,500 New Zealanders. This year, the charity hopes to raise 5 million dollars for free counselling.

Earlier this month, Mike King himself visited the Palmerston North The Warehouse store to speak to customers and team members about the importance of mental health.

“It was an amazing experience to hear from Mike first-hand about the importance for caring for the mental health of those in our communities,” says Timothy Edwards, Palmerston North Store Manager. “He really took a personal interest in listening to people’s stories and took time to speak to everyone individually. In times like these, it’s even more important to listen, check-in and be there for our neighbours and family members by simply starting a conversation.”

Even in a lockdown, there’s no reason to not show your support for this worthwhile cause. We are encouraging our customers and team members around the country to don their gumboots at home on Friday, 3rd April and share the image on social media using #GumbootFriday. You can still participate and donate to the great cause by donating on the official website.

Team Support

In these unprecedented times, we are offering our team members across our store and office network extra support when it comes to mental health and wellbeing.

We’ve launched a specific Thrive Through COVID-19 support group on our team member intranet, Workplace. As part of this support group, we’ve partnered with Ultimate Performance Ltd who are providing customised webinars and virtual workshops on topics like resilience and thriving emotionally.

“It’s so important that we continue to keep our team members connected to each other and help them truly thrive through this period,” says Tanya Colvin, Head of Team Member Wellbeing. “Things like webinars and virtual workshops help bridge the gap between team members and serve an important purpose in keeping us connected.”

In addition to keeping our team engaged with Workplace content, we’ve also extended our OCP programme from its standard limit of three free counselling sessions to six, and have committed to paying our store teams affected by the lockdown with four weeks of paid leave.

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