$20,000 donation keeps Youthline's health service open

By Mahvash Ali

Stephen Bell, CEO for Youthline, has never seen such a generous donation before. Photo/File
Stephen Bell, CEO for Youthline, has never seen such a generous donation before. Photo/File

It has never happened in the 30 years that Youthline CEO Stephen Bell has been working in the not-for-profit sector.

An Auckland philanthropist has stepped forward with $20,000 within hours of the news that Youthline's Youth Health Service, a free central Auckland clinic that offers primary health to communities in need, was set to close down on May 4 - unless a substantial amount could be raised to keep it going.

"He didn't just promise the amount. He has already done it. I spoke to him yesterday morning and he tranferred the amount that afternoon. The money is already in our account today," said Mr Bell.

This donation will help keep the health service, which needs to raise another $30,000 to keep it afloat, going for at least the next three months.

Mr Bell says the anonymous benefactor's contribution will be extremely valuable because it will take them through the winter months.

"We are glad there is some light at the end of the tunnel. This is a time of year when young people on the street suffer from ailments and do not visit a doctor. Our service aims to help these people. All we want to do is provide access"

The pop-up clinics in Auckland Central help those from low socio-economic areas, the homeless, Maori and Pacific Island youth, and GLBTI.

He says there is hope, Youth Health Service will be able to keep their doors open after all.

"We are also in talks with a public health organisation that is interested in continuing its support next year."

Mr Bell adds that it isn't just financial support that it needs. Doctors who are willing to volunteer a few hours every week can help too.

Last year, Youth Health Service received a substantial donation from the United States that kept it going.

- NZ Herald

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