Walk in Their Shoes for one day

Join us on friday, November 1st 2024

Dealing with depression and mental health challenges is like walking through mud every day.

During our national campaigns, we ask you to show your support, put your gumboots on, give a gold coin, and take a walk in their shoes for just one day. Our next Gumboot Friday fundraising day is on November 1st 2024.

Join us as we raise funds for free kids counselling

Gumboot Friday, founded by mental health advocate Mike King, is a free counselling service for any young person in New Zealand aged 25 and under.

An overworked, underfunded, and under resourced public mental health service has led to excruciatingly long wait times for young people needing immediate help. Our free counselling platform provides a bridge to rangatahi in need by breaking down the barriers of cost and wait times.

By supporting Gumboot Friday, you're making a real difference, helping us keep up with the rising demand and ensuring every young Kiwi gets the mental health support they deserve.

Gumboot Friday events around New Zealand

Use the calendar icon to filter by date.

With the generosity and support of New Zealanders we will continue to supply private care and counselling for young people in distress. All year round incredible people around the country are fundraising and getting involved in Gumboot Friday.

Raising funds to provide FREE and timely counselling for young people
Add your eventJoin the Gumboot Army

Let's make kids' mental health a priority in Aotearoa

We're on a mission to make sure young people aged 5-25 in New Zealand get free and timely counselling when they need it most.

Join us today, and let's rewrite the story of young lives together. Your action can create a brighter, healthier future for the next generation.

Counselling sessions made possible with the heartfelt support of Kiwis
Young lives reshaped with optimism and hope
Average cost of a session with a mental health practitioner
Average monthly fund disbursement in last six months

Connect with other fundraisers

Join our Gumboot Army Facebook group and connect with other dedicated fundraisers. Our community is a lively hub brimming with inspiration, teamwork, and support for those who share our passion for helping young Kiwis in need.

Ready to join the Gumboot Army? Simply click the button below, complete the form provided, introduce yourself, share your fundraising ideas, and start connecting with your fellow fundraisers.

Join the Gumboot Army
Gumboot Friday sign at a shop
Group of schoolgirls with gumboots
Gumboots with a donation card
Group of kids with gumboots

The Difference You'll Make

The funds you raise for Gumboot Friday will go directly towards funding free counselling sessions for young people in Aotearoa.

Read Social Impact Report
“Mike and Gumboot Friday literally saved my life if it wasn’t for those free sessions I would have never found out what was truly wrong with me and how to fix it. After my suicide attempt I went down hill real fast and had no way out until Gumboot Friday helped me. Me and my family thank you Mike more then you could imagine”
“Counseling was not there when we needed it.  It’s very expensive for some of us and was not going to be funded through ACC for us.We needed to pay ourselves. We paid for some sessions and then her counsellor said she was able to get funding for 2x sessions through I Am Hope. We were delighted! This was in December 2021. It made such a difference to us and our Christmas. More importantly though, it gave our girl a boost to know someone else cared about her enough to do that.  It gave her enough of a boost to start fighting for better days. So, thank you, it means so much more than you would realise.”
“You guys are amazing! You helped my son when he was having trouble with bullying at school. Without you, I don't know if he would have got through it, so thank you! My boys both went to school today with their gumboots on! Have donated! Xx”
“When we found our counsellor I was surprised, amazed and so very very thankful to hear that my daughter’s first session would be free thanks to Gumboot Friday, and that should she require it, the counsellor was able to apply for up to another 2-4 sessions, also paid for by Gumboot Friday for my daughter.  Thankfully my daughter responded well to the counselling and being a single parent there was a great sense of relief knowing that any financial constraints I may have had were not going to be a barrier to her getting the support she needed.With that said, ‘affordability’ was never even questioned when I first spoke with the Counsellor, and I am still in awe that anyone in New Zealand under the age of 25 has the opportunity to receive free counselling thanks to Mike and your team.”
“You guys are amazing! You helped my son when he was having trouble with bullying at school. Without you, I don't know if he would have got through it, so thank you! My boys both went to school today with their gumboots on! Have donated! Xx”
“Through Gumboot Friday both my sister and I were able to access additional counselling sessions as we had used up our funded free sessions prior. This was a big help for me as I was on the waiting list for a psychiatrist and I know it was helpful for my little sister to talk to someone who could help her wrap her head around what had happened. So thank you for Gumboot Friday, it’s helped so many people in New Zealand and my sister and I are just 2 people that have been helped.”
“I am one of those fortunate people who this fund has immensely helped. The Gumboot Friday fund helped me see a psychologist in a time where I was in a very dark headspace and was struggling to access any kind of support. ”
“Tearing up with joy. Well done New Zealand. And thank you Mike, Jo, and the rest of Gumboot Friday team for helping myself directly and so many others on their journey. Your support, quick response, and words of encouragement has already made such a massive difference to me, and I can’t wait to speak with one of your team very soon! It’s truly life saving.
Thank you again. Much aroha you troopers 🙂💙”
“Hi there, I just wanted to let you know my daughter has made contact with one of the councillors on your list & had her first session with her tonight, despite only being the first visit she feels like someone actually understands what's going on with her head & is back next week for another session.   I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to reply to my message especially since she didn't fit into you age bracket that you are aiming to help & of almost desperation. I've long been a Gumboots supporter & we have already lost 1 son to suicide so didn't want to lose a daughter as well. thank you from the bottom of my heart.💕”

Other ways to give

Every cent will go to FREE kids counselling!

Gumboot Friday Merch

All profits from the sale of Gumboot Friday products will go into the Gumboot Friday Kiwibank account to help kids access free counselling when they need it.

We've got sizes for adults, youth, and kids.

Visit the shop

Frequently asked questions

When is the next Gumboot Friday?

The next Gumboot Friday is on Friday, November 1st 2024.

What is Gumboot Friday?

Gumboot Friday is an initiative by the I Am Hope Foundation, a fundraising and advocacy organisation that supports young people who are struggling with their mental health. We help connect young people with existing counsellors or therapists and provide funding for counselling, so that they get help as soon as they need it.

The Gumboot Friday counselling funding service is designed to take the pressure off current services and give young people facing long wait times an alternative pathway.

Gumboot Friday is not a long-term solution designed to take over from government services, rather, it should be seen as a bridge between current services and immediate need. Everyone is encouraged to seek government funded help while utilising our service.

Why gumboots?

For people struggling with depression, it can feel like walking through mud every day.

So on nominated Friday's during the year, we're asking you to show your support, put your gumboots on, give a gold coin, and take a walk in their shoes for just one day.

​It's a fun way for kiwis to join in the mental health conversation, while raising money to provide free and timely counselling for any young person in need.

How can I get involved?

Different ways you can get involved:

  • Wear your gumboots on Gumboot Friday and show your support for those suffering from depression.
  • Make a gold coin donation.
  • Involve your workplace, school or organisation. Join the Gumboot Army here.
  • Purchase one of our branded t-shirts or merchandise here. When you wear it, remember to be open to having vulnerable conversations and talking to friends and family.
Where can I find downloadable posters and resources?

You can download posters, QR code for donations, social media post tiles, audio clips, and other downloadable resources on our resources page here: Resources page.

Where can I get myself a pair of gumboots?

We've teamed up with Number One Shoes to bring you a range of Gumboot Friday gumboots. You'll find them right here: Gumboot Friday gumboots.

What if I don't have any gumboots?

No gumboots? No worries! You can still show your support by getting a pair of our awesome Gumboot Friday socks: Gumboot Friday socks.

How do I register my event?

To let us know about your fundraising plans, register your event here. Thank you again for your support, let's #GUMBOOTUPNZ!

How do I donate?

There are multiple ways to donate to Gumboot Friday. See the options on our Make a Donation page.

Where can I get a t-shirt?

Check out our online shop here.

All profits from the sale of Gumboot Up products will go into the Gumboot Friday Kiwibank account to help kids access free counselling when they need it.

What is the money used for?

100% of your donation that's deposited directly into the Kiwibank Gumboot Friday account goes to counselling for kiwi kids and young people. Kids (with the support of their adult supporters) can make an appointment directly with a counsellor or therapist that meets our criteria.

Who can access Gumboot Friday funding?

Anyone in New Zealand who is 25 years of age or under.

What sort of counselling services do you offer?

We provide funding for young people aged 05-24 yrs to get counselling.
Counsellors are not employed by the I Am Hope Foundation. We're collecting a database of counsellors qualified to work with young people, so we can share their details on our website (counsellors can sign up here). Young people can get a counsellor from our database to make an appointment.

We have strict guidelines about the types of counsellors and therapists we accept onto our database.
They must all fit one of the following categories:

  • NZAC – New Zealand Association of Counsellors  Te Roopu Kaiwhiriwhiri o Aotearoa.
  • NZCCA – New Zealand Christian Counsellors Association.
  • NZPB – New Zealand Psychologists Board, Te Poari Kaimātai Hinengaro o Aotearoa.
  • PBANZ – The Psychotherapists Board of Aotearoa New Zealand Te Poari o nga Kaihaumanu Hinengaro o Aotearoa.
  • SWRB – Social Workers Registration Board Kāhui Whakamana Tauwhiro.

Counsellors and Therapists on our database are not a recommendation or exhaustive list of available professionals in New Zealand. We encourage everyone to do the necessary research to find a practitioner who suits your personal needs.

We expect all counsellors and therapists on our database to provide I AM HOPE and Gumboot Friday clients with the same quality of service and professionalism as clients who pay directly.

What gap is Gumboot Friday is filling in society?

It is not uncommon for suicidal youth to be discharged from the public system as “not acute enough” or to find themselves on a waitlist for the better half of a year. These claims are backed by interviews and subsequent thematic analysis with our counsellors. New Zealand’s system forces children to get worse before they get better and systematically pushes our mental health practitioners to burnout. 

Gumboot Friday flips the script by offering counselling as “just a conversation”. In our system, children receive free, timely help unconditionally, regardless of who they are. This allows us to address issues quickly before they escalate, and thus unburdens the health system while giving our children support when they request it. On the other side of this service, practitioners can access funding to hold children in their community and enjoy a higher quality of work with a less acute clientele, as well as a fair wage. 

Raising funds to provide FREE and timely counselling for young people
Add your eventJoin the Gumboot Army