Receiving an email about Steptember in her inbox, Brenda McKenzie's first thought was 'junk mail'.

But reading it, she discovered it was about Steptember, a charity event which raises funds to support people living with cerebral palsy.

Knowing about cerebral palsy (CP) because of her nephew who has it, Brenda was inspired by him to join Steptember.

As the head of health at Paraparaumu College, Brenda sent an email out to staff to see if anyone was keen to join her.

Advertisement

READ MORE:
Gift of spa pool: life changing for Raumati's Kash Edmonds
Premium - Eva Foreman: The 2-year-old with the largest smile and cerebral palsy

"Beginning on September 3, I will be taking on the challenge of completing 10,000 steps a day for 28 days to raise vital funds for children and adults in New Zealand who live with cerebral palsy," her email said.

Retha Hallatt and Brenda McKenzie raising funds for Steptember with a sausage sizzle for students and teachers at Paraparaumu College. Photo / Rosalie Willis
Retha Hallatt and Brenda McKenzie raising funds for Steptember with a sausage sizzle for students and teachers at Paraparaumu College. Photo / Rosalie Willis

"Did you know that the average office worker only takes around 3000 steps a day? It's a big jump to move over three times that every day for 28 days, however it's such a worthy cause that I want to give it a go."

CP is the most common physical disability among New Zealand children with half of New Zealanders with CP suffering chronic pain due to the tightening of their muscles.

Every dollar raised during Steptember goes toward much-needed services, support, and care for so many kids and adults living with cerebral palsy and their families.

Not only does Steptember raise money for a good cause, it also promotes getting active and working together as a team.

"I think it's just a great cause that also helps people's wellbeing.

"Term three at school is always a hard time. You're losing a lot of your seniors and you're trying to get them motivated. If you're not feeling good in yourself it's really hard to give back to your students.

Advertisement

"Keeping physically fit will help all other dimensions of your wellbeing."

With 53 teachers, teacher aides and administration staff signing up, each person has been put into teams of four.

Splitting everyone up evenly in terms of fitness levels and mixing everyone up, "we're trying to get people together", Brenda said.

"We've mixed everyone up so that it's not just about the steps but the camaraderie and mental wellbeing too. It's really fun getting people together that wouldn't normally chat, it has been such a cool way to connect with everyone."

Fundraisers included personal fundraising efforts by the staff and a barbecue at school.

"We've even got vegetarian sausages because our sausage sizzle was on the same day as the school climate strikes to make it more sustainable."

You can still donate to Steptember by visiting here.