about lean on a gate

the Whatever With Wiggy charitable trust

Whatever with Wiggy evolved in 2020 when COVID-19 arrived and shut down all of Wiggy's usual speaking engagements and MC roles. To maintain and build connections within the rural community, as part of his advocacy work for mental health and wellness in rural communities, he formed the Whatever with Wiggy Facebook page in April 2020.

The Whatever with Wiggy Charitable Trust is now the main vehicle through which Wiggy continues his work within rural communities.

Your mates at Lean on a Gate

Here are our facilitators and connectors

Craig "Wiggy" Wiggins

Wiggy has had a career as an MC and commentator in the racing and rural sector, and he is a prominent voice for rural communities. He now runs Lean on a Gate seminars and helps to connect people and communities through the Lean on a Gate movement.

Slade McFarland

Slade is a mental health advocate in the rural and construction sectors. As an ex-Māori All Black and Super Rugby representative, he has always been a team player and teaches people how to talk about their issues and build trust with the people around them through the Lean on a Gate movement and Agri Connect seminars.

Samantha McBride
Health and Mental Fitness Coach

Sam is a Health and Mental Fitness coach specialising in helping guys who feel stuck or frustrated build their world's better. She has a topdressing business with her husband so understands many rural issues. Her real passion though, is to build our brains, bodies and communities better. Founder of Men's Muster Fiordland, coaching groups (Building Better Blokes) and individual coaching, her work supports people to become more aware, gives tools to thrive and grow. She is working with RST to deliver positive health messages to the rural sector through Grow Us Well talks and coaching.

We're looking for local mates

If you would like to help connect locals with support in your communities, we would love to hear from you!

How it all began

Wiggy has always believed that connecting with friends and community is key to helping with mental health. In September 2021, after losing two friends to suicide, he decided to push the message that we all need to take five minutes and check on each other, just like we used to at sale yards and other community events.

It's a straightforward message aimed at urging people to stay connected and raising mental health awareness. Communities are resourceful, as we see all the time. Wiggy says the video message is targeted at rebuilding community spirit and generating a nationwide connection across rural and urban sectors.

"I want to encourage people all over the country to take five minutes out of their day to ring a friend and check in, or to talk to a neighbour, family member, or colleague. Whether they have been having a rough time, or you just haven’t spoken for a while, make time to ring them now", says Wiggy.

"I want this to be seen as a call to action, because we know that just a quick chat can often make a huge difference. While the campaign has a light-hearted vibe, the slogan undoubtedly has a serious undertone too. It's aimed at reducing stress and anxiety by being proactive, sharing the load, and checking in on the people you care about."


Ravensdown Rural Communicator of the Year 2021

Wiggy was awarded the Ravensdown Rural Communicator of the Year Award in 2021, for Whatever with Wiggy and his subsequent farmer support work.

Rural health and wellness check-ups

The Carr Family Foundation has a health check-up van that works alongside Lean on a Gate to attend rural events, where you can drop in and have a free health check.

Get the latest updates from your mates

Keep up to date with events and education around how to talk to a mate and Lean on a Gate as we walk the talk.

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