Concern over alarming suicide stats in the construction industry’s driven a Queenstowner to drive golf balls for a 24-hour fundraiser next month.

A project manager for GJ Gardner Homes, Blair Pattinson, 42, says he experienced work pressure-related burnout last year, and is grateful to the services that helped him out.

He believes stress in the industry’s caused by cost pressures, in particular, faced by clients.

‘‘It’s completely understandable, they’re paying lots of money for a house, and the cost of it’s getting higher and higher, and they take out their frustrations on us, quite often.’’

Pattinson says he’s aware of two suicides in the local industry over the past year — ‘‘a couple too many’’.

Through his golf challenge at the Frankton Golf Centre — in which he’ll hit a ball every two minutes, 50 minutes every hour, for 24 hours from 4pm on February 8 — he’s hoping to raise at least $5000 for MATES in Construction NZ.

The organisation offers suicide prevention programmes and training for people like himself who oversee other workers.

‘‘I just feel like giving back after the year I’ve had,’’ Pattinson says.

Having played golf most of his life, he finds it a good release between work and home — ‘‘after I knock off I’ll come down for an hour and try and switch off so I don’t let work pressures enter my home environment’’.

Pattinson says anyone’s welcome to join his golf challenge at any stage — he’d also welcome visits from a physio or sports massage therapist.

He’s also grateful to his main sponsor, golf centre operator Inspire Golf.

Pattinson says he’d ideally like his golf challenge to spread beyond Queenstown, and become an annual fixture.

‘‘I don’t think I’ll do it every year, but I’ll definitely let someone else take the reins.’’

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