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Charity misses out after R&V cancelled

Partygoers were not the only ones who missed out after Rhythm and Vines was cancelled.

Lifeline, the helpline charity for people in distress or who are suicidal, missed out on tens of thousands of dollars from ticket sales.

For the past four years, Rhythm and Vines has donated a portion of ticket sales to the charity.

This year’s donation was expected to be in the region of $30,000 — which would have funded roughly 1000 helpline calls.

Lifeline Operations Manager Helena de Fontenay says the loss of the donation is “heartbreaking” for both Rhythm and Vines and Lifeline and appealed to the community to fill the gap.

“I would hope there are plenty of generous organisations and individuals out there who can step up and help meet the shortfall, and continue the support of the helpline like Rhythm and Vines has done for so long.

“Rhythm and Vines has been a strong supporter of Lifeline for the past four years, but clearly the Covid pandemic means these are extraordinary times.”

“We are calling on extraordinary Kiwis to step up and help with whatever they can,” says de Fontenay.

Despite the loss of the donation, Lifeline will continue with its service, which relies on public support.

The funding cut comes at a time when the service is in more demand than ever, thanks in part to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Calls have increased by 20 percent since 2019, while use of the texting service is up 30 percent.

“We have a strong team of highly-skilled health professionals and trained volunteers who will continue to be there when needed. Rest assured, we are not going anywhere.

“We can receive up to 10,000 calls per month and around 30,000 texts are received and sent,” de Fontenay says.

“We are sad for our friends at Rhythm and Vines — they have shown a long-term commitment to the wellbeing of Kiwis through their ongoing support for Lifeline over the years.

“Now is the time for more people to join the Lifeline family of supporters.”

Kyle Bell, Rhythm and Vines’ marketing and partnerships director, says they will “absolutely” be supporting Lifeline this year.

“Our fundraising efforts have helped raise $65,000 for Lifeline since 2017. Unfortunately due to cancellation, we were unable to grow this amount last year, but will be looking to double our efforts this year.”

Mr Bell says Rhythm and Vines love the work the charity does.

“We have seen firsthand what incredible work they do.

“In 2017, we aligned with Lifeline as we felt we could not only help raise funds, but also provide important awareness of the Lifeline helpline to our audiences.”