Garden Centre members of Gardening New Zealand are supporting Gumboot Friday 5 April (this week) and encouraging their customers to do the same by donating to the I am Hope fundraiser for free counselling for youth.
The campaign, led by New Zealander of the Year Mike King, is a day to raise awareness of and funds for much needed free youth counselling. Gumboots symbolise the daily grind of walking through what feels like mud when you suffer from mental health issues.
Many garden centre outlets including, Palmers, Kings Plant Barn and several Mitre 10 stores across the country, are getting involved in the campaign.
“While many gardeners work in gumboots daily, other garden centre staff are also getting their gumboots on this Friday to walk a day in the shoes of someone suffering depression,” GNZ Manager Debbie Pascoe says.
“Working daily in heavy gumboots in boggy conditions can be challenging and we hope the funding for counselling will help to ‘lighten the load’ for those affected by mental health issues.
“We also suggest to those suffering depression, anxiety or stress related issues aim to spend time in a garden or restful outdoor environment. Recent research has linked these activities with improved wellbeing.
“The creative freedom of gardening for many is a tonic in a stressful and sometimes difficult world.
“We are pretty sure garden centre customers will be pleased to help raise funds for improving mental health support for youth,” Debbie Pascoe said.
Gardening New Zealand is an industry group part of the wider New Zealand Plant Producers’ Organisation.