The number of calls to Childline on Christman Day increased by 20pc.
Childline, the ISPCC’s listening service for all children and young people in Ireland, responded to 1,450 calls, texts and web messages.
The figure represented a 20pc increase in contacts when compared to Christmas Day last year. Some 75 volunteers worked yesterday for the service across the country.
This year Childline also celebrated its 25th Birthday and in May 2013 answered its 5 millionth call.
“Having been providing this service for 25 years, we know that for many children, Christmas Day is just another day.
“Children contacted Childline on Christmas Day for a variety of reasons but many of the calls were from those experiencing family difficulties, loneliness and mental health issues. The impact of alcohol abuse in the home over the Christmas period can also have a very negative impact on children,” Margie Roe, National Childline Manager said,
While it has been another difficult financial year, the ISPCC, with the support of over 600 volunteers nationwide has been determined to maintain all current services and to ensure that as many children as possible are heard.
Over the last year Childline has been struggling to answer all calls, with one in three calls going unanswered. The charity say this is of particular concern.
“The call figures received on an annual basis indicate how vital Childline is to children in Ireland and illustrates the deficit of accessible 24 hour services for children and their families.
“However as the demand continues, we are concerned about the calls that we are unable to get to. When a child reaches out for support it’s so important that they receive an answer. We continue to ask the public for their support in helping us to answer more calls going into the new year.”
The charity thanked the public for the donations received this year – but stated that December was “particularly difficult” and they experienced a “significant drop in donations to the service”.
If you would like to donate €2 to Childline please text the word CHILDLINE to 50300.
The charity say the entire €2 donation will help them answer every call.