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Covid puts paid to Lean on Me concert

The eighth annual Lean On Me concert in Tokomaru Bay has been cancelled due to safety concerns around Covid-19.

The event's focus is raising awareness on the prevention and intervention around suicide.

“Having it now would only increase the stress that the community are already in,”said Ngati4life Trust manager Tuta Ngarimu.

With further concerns raised by community elders, the trust decided to cancel.

Mr Ngarimu said the idea of the concert was first formed in 2014 when whanau had approached him, after they lost their son and were upset about the stigma around suicide.

“We have live acts, information stores, health stores and a whole lot of community organisations that come,” he said.

Since 2015 when the first concert was held and with the event attracting people to share their stories around trauma and other issues, the trust decided to hold a concert annually.

“Although we are pretty gutted to postpone the concert. We have decided we want to go ahead for 2022 and look at planning to again go at Tokomaru Bay,” he said.

■ For whanau needing help contact Youthline on 0800 37 66 33, or text to 234, or use the Youthline online webchat, Gisborne Crisis Line  (06) 867 2435 / 0800 243 500 and Lifeline 0800 543 354.