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Counselling service receives Australian aid

For immediate release: 22 January 2004

‘What’s Up’ counselling service receives Australian aid

Australia’s largest national children’s charity, BoysTown Lotteries, has given a $170,000 grant to New Zealand’s Kids Help Foundation to help finance the Kiwi children’s charity between sponsors.

The Kids Help Foundation, which runs the heavily-used What’s Up nationwide telephone counselling service, lost one major corporate sponsor last year, and another sponsorship will finish at the end of the month.

Executive Director Grant Taylor says the Foundation continues to be sponsored by Kellogg’s and Griffins. It is actively seeking replacement funding and sponsors and would welcome contact from anyone wishing to support its work.

“We are delighted with this timely and generous help from BoysTown,” Mr Taylor says. “We have always had strong support from BoysTown, who have a real understanding from practical experience of the needs and concerns of young people.”

BoysTown Family Care provides support and help to young people and families throughout Australia with several programs, largely funded by its BoysTown Lotteries. Among these is a professional telephone counselling service for Australian children and young people. It has been a strong supporter of New Zealand’s Kids Help Foundation since the early days of planning What’s Up, which was launched in September 2001.

What’s Up receives approximately 500 calls for help and guidance every day from New Zealanders aged between 5 and 18. The average age of callers is 13 years. The phone service 0800WHATSUP (0800 942 87 87) with professionally trained counsellors is available from noon to midnight every day of the year. Records show the biggest concern of young people today is their relationships with other children and young people.

As well as the free and confidential telephone counselling service, the Foundation also provides valuable statistical information to individuals and organizations concerned with children’s and young people’s issues.

Ends: 298 words

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