CHILDREN from across Blackburn are taking part in a concert to kick start fundraising efforts for a new mental health telephone counselling service.

Pupils from four schools from across the town will perform at the Emojinal Health concert, which will be held at the Preston Guild Hall this Wednesday.

The concert is being staged by children’s charity CANW (Child Action Northwest) to launch an appeal to fund a new phone counselling service for five to 16-year-olds.

Blackburn Central High School, Shadsworth Infant School, Belthorn and Feniscowles Primary School will take part in the event, which will bring together more than 500 children from schools across the county.

CANW hopes the new service will be help some of 19,000 children in Lancashire who experience low level mental health issues including anxiety, bullying, depression and low self-esteem.

The charity, who are working with Lancashire County Council to develop the service, are hosting the concert to highlight the need for better mental health support for children and encourage people to donate money to help make the service a reality.

Sue Cotton, CEO of CANW, said: “Figures show that one in ten children aged five to 16 in Lancashire experience low level mental health issues. But only a quarter of those who need treatment will receive it.

"That’s why we’re working to develop a phone counselling service which will help children address their worries at an early stage before they become part of a bigger issue.

"We need to reach a target of £125,000 in order to set up the service and keep it running for two years.

"Addressing young people’s mental health concerns at an early stage can stop these issues escalating and help to avoid further problems in adulthood."

The Emojinal Health concert, which will be hosted by international opera star Sean Ruane from Bacup, will involve children from school choirs across Lancashire coming together to perform a selection of uplifting and inspiring songs.

The concert will take place 6.30pm until 8.30pm on November 29.

Tickets are available from Preston's Guild Hall at a price of £7.50 for adults and £3.50 for children.

Call 01772 804444 or email for more information.