Bays run funds will pay to train more Kidsline buddies
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.
‘‘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 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.’’
The Auckland resident 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.
Mrs Leuschke 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 makes a difference and I intend to stay part of it.’’
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 training more volunteer buddies.
Ports of Auckland Round the Bays is a collaboration between the Auckland Joggers Club and Fairfax Media, owner of the Central Leader and parent company, Suburban Newspapers.
Registration proceeds will also help Radio Lollipop, Cystic Fibrosis Auckland, The Hearing House, Crohns and Colitis NZ, Raukatauri Music Therapy Trust and Fairfax First Books.
Community-minded: Kidsline stalwart Karen Leuschke says the service is the only one of its kind.