Canteen calls on Kiwis to help support its iconic Bandanna Day fundraiser

Regrettably, it feels as though a cancer diagnosis is an experience that many of us will be unfortunate enough to encounter at some stage in our lives. 

Whether it is you or someone you know it’s never easy, but for those aged 13-24 it can be especially overwhelming at such a formative time in their lives. 

At age seven, Quinn Hautapu was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. 

“Everything changed after my diagnosis. I was away from home and school for a whole year. Nothing was ever the same once I returned to primary school,”  Hautapu says. 

“I couldn’t relate to my peers anymore. I became very isolated and started spending all my time alone in my room. It was tough and started affecting my mental health.”

Thankfully, organisations like Canteen are doing all they can to help support Quinn and more than 4,200 other rangatahi who are affected by cancer every year in Aotearoa. 

Canteen offers these rangatahi counselling to help them explore and deal with their feelings, peer support events to connect with others going through a similar experience, and specialist online support so they can access support at any time, from anywhere in Aotearoa. 

“It was a no-brainer for me to join Canteen when I turned 13. I knew of the positive impact the organisation had on rangatahi, and that there were others in the same position as me.” Hautapu added. 

However, despite the incredible work Canteen does, it is the only organisation of its kind to not receive any direct government funding. Thanks to this, it relies almost entirely on fundraisers and donations from other generous kiwis. 

On Friday, June 14 Canteen will once again be hosting its flagship fundraising event, ‘Bandanna Day’ for the 36th time. All funds raised will go directly to help supporting rangatahi in need like Hautapu. 

This year, Canteen is also teaming up with New Zealand band Drax Project for an extra fundraising challenge; any school that registers and takes part will be in with a chance to win a live acoustic performance from the group. 

Canteen CEO Nick Laing hopes that the people of Aotearoa will get behind the event even more this year so that they can continue to support those in need. 

“We’re calling on Kiwis across the country to get involved and support rangatahi impacted by cancer, to let them know that they aren’t alone by purchasing and wearing a bandanna, or donating to Canteen’s Bandanna Day appeal.” 

Getting involved can be as simple as texting ‘CANTEEN’ to 3663 or purchasing a bandanna, which are available online at

No contribution is too small so do consider taking part if you’re able. 

For more information visit:

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