Taking the first step

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Fran Jordan (L), Sinead Dunne, and Richie Barnett are going to face their fear of heights by free-falling off the Sky Tower. Photo Wayne Martin

Two local real estate agents and a former rugby league player will be free-falling off the Sky Tower to face their fears and raise awareness for health and wellbeing.

Ray White real estate agents Fran Jordan and Sinead Dunne and rugby league star Richie Barnett all have a fear of heights – and on September 5, the three, with the addition of Isaiah Kinney, will be conquering their fears by taking a leap of faith off Auckland’s tallest building.

The three say it sends a message out to young people regarding taking the first step and asking for help. “We are living in an unusual world; you are not alone and there are people who care.”

The funds raised in the Sky Tower free-fall will go towards their newly-started charity Team4Life which is focused on helping people in the east Auckland community.

For example, if an individual is going through a tough time and they have a psychologist or therapist they use, Team4Life will pay for the sessions if the individual cannot afford it, Barnett says.

“Or, if they do not have someone they can talk with, we’ll put them in contact with a person in the local community who has expertise in the area required.”

Barnett says Team4Life wishes to bring awareness and funds to specifically support those within the Howick Local Board area.

“The reason why we thought about this is because of my alignment with Key To Life (charitable trust) and Mike King’s organisation Gumboot Friday.

“I thought it’s quite timely between Fight for Life and Gumboot Friday for the local community into what we can do as a community to support our own community,and to inspire other local boards in Auckland and New Zealand to do the same,” Barnett says.

“The current system is very slow in getting support to the people that are in need. They have to wait longer.”

Team4Life wishes to get local schools and groups involved as well in the open discussion of health and wellbeing, creating awareness to have that discussion on a regular basis and to fund people who need help. “There is a need, especially now with Covid-19,” Barnett says.

While Team4Life is waiting for their free-fall with much trepidation, they’re enthusiastic about facing their fears and spreading awareness on health and wellbeing.

For more information, visit www.givealittle.co.nz/cause/mental-health-and-wellbeing-awareness-day, or contact Barnett at richiebarnett23@gmail.com to discuss supporting the initiative.