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Gumboot Friday is supporting kids for Christmas

Key to Life founder Mike King. Photo: Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media.

Gumboot Friday is ensuring children will have the help they need over the Christmas period.

The charity is making $395,880 available for counselling to help Kiwi kids manage their way through Christmas and New Year.

While Christmas is a joyous occasion for most kids, for others it is anything but.

For a lot of young people, particularly those who have lost a loved one during the year, Christmas is a very triggering period and Gumboot Friday wants to do everything thing we can to ensure help is there if and when they need it.

Key to Life is the foundation that offers Gumboot Friday counselling and founder Mike King says they want everyone to know that funds are available.

 At an average cost of $120 per consultation, more than 3200 sessions will be accessible.

“To ensure we reach as many young people as possible funding approval will be given for four sessions per person over 6 weeks. Any unused sessions after this period will again go back into the pool for reallocation.”

The money is available because unused sessions that had been approved earlier in the year have now come back into the pool for re-allocation. The Spare Change Fund is also contributing so that access to counselling can be extended to those 25 years old and under.

“We appreciate that not all counsellors and psychologists will be available over this period so we are asking all registered health professionals on our list to let us know who is available over the Christmas period.”

To 23rd September, more than 2,000 kids accessed over 7,600 counselling sessions through the Gumboot Fund.

Among them, over 900 children were aged 8-11 years old, 600 12-15 year olds and more than 500 were 16-19 year olds.

Demand was spread across the country with the highest levels in Otago, Canterbury, Auckland, Wellington, Bay of Plenty and Waikato.

“Planning for next year’s Gumboot Friday on April 3rd is well under-way and we look forward to sharing the details with you in the new year.

“We’re aiming high, at a stretch target of $5 million, because of the overwhelming demand for help. A lot of activity is planned across the country and we can’t wait to get into it.”

“Meanwhile we encourage those who find themselves in need to take the step of making an appointment by seeing who is available here.”

If urgent medical care is needed dial 111 immediately. If you need to talk to a trained counsellor, please text or call 1737 any time, 24 hours a day.

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