The idea for Kidsline started nearly 30 years ago! In 1987 a boy named Adam, whose father had recently died, asked one of the counsellors at Lifeline Auckland why we didn't have a counselling service especially for kids. Around that time, Lifeline Auckland had began researching the need for a telephone service for children and young people.
After looking at services in Britain and Australia, it was decided that “near-peer” counsellors who were closer in age to the callers, would act like a caring older brother or sister, more so than an adult counsellor could be.
In mid 1988, thirty 16 and 17-year-olds were selected and trained as the first Kidsline Buddies. Kidsline was launched on Tuesday June 7th, 1988 as an after-school telephone counselling service for children in the greater Auckland area.
Kidsline now nationwide
In 1999 Kidsline’s number changed to 0800 KIDSLINE (0800 54 37 54) to allow children anywhere in New Zealand to call Kidsline for free. Our original call centre is still in Auckland, and from May this year we will open our doors to an additional call centre in Christchurch!! This will mean the Buddy Youth Development Programme will be opened up to even more Year 12 and 13 young people wanting to volunteer and make a difference!
Since Kidsline began, over 1000 awesome young people have trained to become a Buddy, and Adam?.....the boy who first asked about a service for kids?.........well a little while later he became a Kidsline Buddy himself! Cool huh.