The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Bartender walking 3000km for men’s mental health

A former Queenstown bartender is nearing the end of his walk from one end of the country to another to raise money and awareness for men’s mental health.

Australian-born Josh Storey, formerly a bartender for Future Hospitality Group’s Little Blackwood, is scheduled to complete his 3000km walk along Te Araroa Trail in Bluff in the next couple of weeks.

He is fundraising for the Australia-based #talk2mebro movement, created to provide men with a safe platform to open up and share their struggles without judgement or ridicule.

After spending six months in Queenstown planning the current trip, he headed off to Cape Reinga, at New Zealand’s northwest-most tip, to start the walk.

En route he recently completed a ‘rockstar’ shift at Little Blackwood to showcase the special ‘Josh’s Storey’ cocktail Future Hospitality Group is promoting to raise money for the cause.

“The night went super well, always a good time at Little Blackwood,” says John. “[I] managed to do a lot of networking and discuss the fundamentals of mental health with those I had the pleasure of meeting.”

He raised more than $500 in cash donations and cocktail sales will continue to tick over for the duration of his walk, with $1 from each being donated to the fund by his former bosses.

The mental health movement #talk2mebro runs an early intervention program to reduce rates of male suicide, as well as weekly social meetups.

During his time with Future Hospitality Group, Josh took the lead in offering mental health support to all company staff.

Starting ‘Mental Health Mondays’, he sat in a local café with open ears and an open heart to talk about anything and everything.

Walking the trail is something he finds helpful for his own state of mind.

“I love throwing myself into situations where I have to push myself and understand how my brain works,” he says.

“It’s a great way to see the world because you get a better understanding of where you are and how far you’re going.”

Did you know?

There are six ways you can catch up with The Shout NZ?

Our print magazine – new issue out now! Subscribe here.
Online, updated daily with its own unique content and breaking news.
Our weekly newsletter – free to your inbox! Subscribe here.
Our digital magazines – the latest issues are online now.
We are also on Facebook and Instagram!