Teen con­fi­dants in­spire stal­wart

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By SARAH AR­GYLE

KAREN Leuschke has been work­ing with young­sters through Kid­sline since it was first launched 26 years ago.

Kid­sline is a free and con­fi­den­tial phone ser­vice that en­lists older chil­dren to coun­sel younger ones.

Mrs Leuschke is a men­tor for the or­gan­i­sa­tion and helps with train­ing.

‘‘It’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary,’’ she says. ‘‘There’s no other place in the world that has older chil­dren counselling younger chil­dren.’’

Year 12 and 13 coun­sel­lors of­fer the right amount of em­pa­thy but have enough dis­tance to be the best ear for Kid­sline’s tar­get age of 6 to 13-year-olds, she says.

‘‘When­ever I hear news about teens do­ing de­struc­tive things I think of the hun­dreds of Kid­sline bud­dies I have men­tored and am given ev­ery hope for the future.

‘‘There are amaz­ing young peo­ple out there. There were 26 years ago and there still are in 2014.’’

Mrs Leuschke has spent much of her 69 years ded­i­cated to the well-be­ing of chil­dren.

She has been in­volved with Life­line, from which Kid­sline emerged, for more than 43 years

She’s also been a teacher for 45 years and has four chil­dren and eight grand­chil­dren of her own.

Mrs Leuschke says young peo­ple face many is­sues that Kid­sline can help them to over­come.

‘‘It con­nects me with young peo­ple who are wise and it’s nice to know I am hav­ing a positive ef­fect on some­one’s life.’’

She never thought the ser­vice would play such a mam­moth part in her life but is thrilled to still be in­volved.

‘‘It’s just as strong as it ever was. We need it, our kids need it, our young peo­ple need it. It’s one of those ser­vices that can make a dif­fer­ence, does make a dif­fer­ence and I in­tend to stay part of it.’’

Kid­sline will re­ceive $26,000 from reg­is­tra­tion fees paid by peo­ple en­ter­ing this year’s Ports of Auck­land Round the Bays, which starts on March 9 at 9.30am. The money will go to­wards the train­ing of more vol­un­teer bud­dies.

Ports of Auck­land Round the Bays is a joint col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Auck­land Jog­gers Club and Fair­fax Me­dia, owner of the Auck­land City Har­bour News and its par­ent com­pany, Sub­ur­ban News­pa­pers.

Reg­is­tra­tion pro­ceeds will also help sup­port , Ra­dio Lol­lipop, Cys- tic Fi­bro­sis Auck­land Branch, The Hear­ing House, Crohns and Coli­tis New Zealand, Raukatauri Mu­sic Therapy Trust, Kid­sline and Fair­fax First Books.

Community minded: Kid­sline stal­wart Karen Leuschke says the ser­vice is the only one of its kind.

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