Concerts to kick-start $50k target

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Southland entertainers (from left) Gold Guitar Intermediate runner-up Holly Muirhead (17), Youthline Southland community development manager Liv Cochrane, Hannah Surendran (10) and Southland Junior Entertainer of the Year Michael Kuresa (18) will all be part of the Blue Heart concerts being held at SIT Centrestage Theatre on Saturday. Photo: Jenet Gellatly

YOUTHLINE Southland community development manager, singer and former breakfast radio host Liv Cochrane is raising her voice for youth and has a big, audacious goal to raise $50,000 to boost the work of Youthline in Southland.

She’s kick-starting her mission with two concerts, Blue Heart, featuring young songwriters including Junior Entertainer of the Year Michael Kuresa and Gold Guitar Intermediate runner-up Holly Muirhead on Saturday.

The shows would also debut Cochrane & Price, a duo formed with Cochrane and long-time trans-Tasman multi award-winning recording artist Kylie Price.

As the new community development manager, Cochrane had the opportunity to see first-hand the crucial work Youthline Southland has done for some of the most vulnerable young people during this time.

Children as young as 8 years old were among those reaching out to Youthline for help during the Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown, Youthline chief executive Shae Ronald said.

“We had a massive increase, a 50% increase, in the number of people contacting us for support.

“Of that, we also had an 85% increase in care protection matters. That’s where young people aren’t safe.”

A mum of three, including 11 and 14-year-old sons, Cochrane was determined to engage with every corner of Southland to raise awareness and much-needed funding for Youthline work.

“Bottom line is, we’ve got younger and younger kids reaching out to us in crisis.

“We’ve got tertiary students and young professionals reeling from an isolating and unsteady year.

“We don’t know what 2021 might roll out, but we can sure as heck do whatever we can to boost our resilience and well-being.

“Sitting through two hours of great music is a pretty simple and joyful way to get that started.”

Cochrane’s decision to take on the role of community development manager for Youthline Southland was also a direct result of the country going into lockdown and Covid-19’s impact on her income.

“Within a few hours of the announcement I lost $5000 worth of gigs and watched some incredibly strong people around me break,” she said.

She was offered the role after a board member saw her compassion in action on a group Zoom call with local small business owners. She leapt at the opportunity, she
said.

“Getting the chance to help rebuild and strengthen part of my community and have a steady income was one hell of a blessing.

‘‘I’m having to learn how to be a grown up and do things like paperwork, but it’s more rewarding than anything I’ve ever put my name to.”

■ Blue Heart is being held at SIT Centrestage Theatre on Saturday, November 28, 3pm and 7pm with all proceeds going to Youthline Southland. Tickets, $20 waged, $15
unwaged or students over 10 and free for under 10s, could be bought online at ticketek.co.nz, through the Southland Chamber of Commerce in the SIT Arcade, or by phoning 0800 TICKETEK (842 538). There would also be door sales.Adidas shoesAir Max

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