Raising awareness about men’s mental health is close to the hearts of members of the Oamaru Wolfpack – and they are thrilled the Oamaru community is passionate about it, too.
On Sunday, an ensemble of 18 Wolfpack members, members of the community and mental health advocates walked 28km in an effort to encourage more men to speak up and raise money for the Oamaru Wolfpack gym and safe space projects.
Organisers were thrilled with the support from the community – and plans were already in place to make it an annual event.
Starting the journey at the Oamaru Harbour, the walk went to the Rakis Railway Tunnel, and included stops at Fort Enfield and the Wolfpack Den in Weston, ending back in Oamaru at 4pm.
Oamaru Wolfpack member Kyle Beck said the combination of good company, meaningful conversations and exercise ensured the event was a success.
“All day we were on an insane pace,” Mr Beck said.
“It was a nice day, everybody was chatting – the speed just went.”
Hilarity ensued when some of the group missed the lunch stop, he said.
“We we’re supposed to meet up for lunch and a few [from] the front group walked passed the lunch spot,” he said.
“They had to get picked up and and brought back, so we had a good laugh about that.”
Walking 28km was no mean feat for the group of 18 men and women and exhaustion started to set in on the final stretch to Oamaru from Weston.
“I think by that time everything was starting to settle in and the aches were coming in and the blisters were coming up,” he said.
Mr Beck said plans were already in place to organise a similar walk again next year.
“We’re definitely looking at doing it again next year,” Mr Beck said.
“We can learn from how things went this year and adjust things if we need to.”
The total amount raised from the event was still being tallied and a Givealittle page remained open – givealittle.co.nz/org/oamaru-mens-wolfpack-trust.
The Oamaru Wolfpack is a grass roots men’s support and wellness group, run by volunteers. The shared goal of Oamaru Wolfpack members is to break the stigma of mental illness, help remove barriers stopping men from seeking help and support those who are doing it tough.