Kiwis raise $1.6m to provide free kids’ counselling by supporting Gumboot Friday

Mike King and the mental health charity I AM HOPE asked Kiwis to wear gumboots on Friday 5 April 2019 as a fun way to raise money for kids counselling. Over $1.3 million was raised on Gumboot Friday with another $300,000 donated in the weeks following.

Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year, Mike King says “Professional mental health support is now available for any young person who needs it, up to the age of 19. There’s no tricky criteria or waiting list, just book an appointment and I AM HOPE will pay.”

Since 5 April, 1,299 kids have reached out for free counselling, and over 300 registered counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists have signed up with I AM HOPE to provide help to kids in need, with the numbers growing every day.

Mike and his team were overwhelmed with the fundraising efforts of schools, businesses, clubs and kindergartens right across the country. “The success of the first Gumboot Friday shows that Kiwis care deeply about improving the mental health of our rangatahi. My heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who got involved. By chucking on your gummies and talking about mental health, you made a big difference to kids who are struggling.”

Mike says I AM HOPE’s corporate partners and ambassadors around NZ were instrumental in Gumboot Friday’s success. “Kiwibank, AMP, Spark, NZME, Skellerup, Farmlands and TVNZ were just some of our supporters that made Gumboot Friday happen”.

Head of Marketing and Brand at Kiwibank, Simon Hofmann says “The support shown for Gumboot Friday 2019 really proved how important mental wellbeing is to New Zealand. We had over 500,000 people upload the Facebook frame when launching Gumboot Friday and we’re excited to be partnering again to grow the impact even further. Kiwibank is all about making a meaningful contribution to New Zealand Inc and one of the ways we do this is through supporting our communities and the causes they care about. We’ll be empowering our staff and all New Zealanders to join the gumboot wearing movement next year.”

Plans are already underway for Gumboot Friday 2020 and it’s going to be even bigger and better. In March, Mike and the I AM HOPE team are driving the length of the country on tractors to connect with even more Kiwis, building up to Gumboot Friday on 3rd April. Mike says ‘it’s going to be awesome!’

To find out how to access Gumboot Friday funding for kids go to

The Gumboot Friday fundraising appeal for kids counselling is closed to new donations for 2019.

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Gumboot Friday Fund

All donations made to the Gumboot Friday Fund directly support kids in need. Donations can only be accessed by a registered mental health professional on receipt of an invoice.

NZ Mental Health Statistics

Figures released last year by the Ministry of Justice, showed New Zealand’s suicide rates had increased for four consecutive years and are one of the leading countries in the world for youth suicide. Last year in New Zealand 137 young people died by suicide and it is estimated another 3,500 attempted to take their own lives. While Government agencies are doing their best, some kids are waiting up to six months to receive the counselling they so urgently need.

The Key to Life Charitable Trust

I AM HOPE is an initiative by The Key to Life Charitable Trust, a fundraising and advocacy organisation, which supports young people who are struggling with their mental health. We help connect young people with existing counsellors or therapists and provide funding, so that kids get help as soon as they need it.

The Key to Life Charitable Trust is a registered charity (registration number CC44260) and overseen by a board of trustees, including mental health professionals.

More information

For media enquiries and more information contact Amber Hall 027 696 7973 or

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PO BOX 97999

Manukau 2241


New Zealand

I AM HOPEGumboot Friday and Spare Change are proudly brought to you by: 

The Key to Life Charitable Trust

Call 111 immediately for any medical emergency

Text or call 1737 any time, 24 hours a day. You’ll get to talk to (or text with) a trained counsellor, completely free of charge.



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