Saturday 22 October 2016

Childline receives 1,176 calls, texts and messages on Christmas Day

Published 26/12/2015 | 13:20

ISPCC CEO Grainia Long CEO has called for the bill to be amended
ISPCC CEO Grainia Long CEO has called for the bill to be amended

Childline received some 1,175 calls, texts and messages to their service on Christmas Day.

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Childline, the ISPCC's listening services for all children and young people in Ireland, is open 24/7 - and some 70 volunteers worked with the service yesterday.

Christmas Day saw volunteers listening to and responding to 1176 calls, texts and messages through Childline’s phone, text and online services.

"The festive season can be a happy magical time for so many, but for some children it can be fraught with financial pressures, family difficulties, isolation and alcohol abuse. The calls and messages received by Childline this Christmas reflected this with children getting in touch to seek support and reassurance while some simply needed company," said ISPCC Chief Executive Grainia Long.

"We must also remember this Christmas, the children who do not have a home. So far in 2015 Childline has received almost 900 contacts from children concerned about homelessness and this prompted Childline to launch a dedicated text support service for children concerned about homelessness." Children can text 'Home' to 50101 for free and the service open daily from 10am to 4am.

"The season can bring unwelcome stress on families and issues such as financial pressures, worries about housing and alcohol misuse in the home can have a hugely negative impact on children’s experience of the day.

"Children are keenly aware of difficulties in the home and often the festive period can exacerbate tensions. Many of the children who contacted Childline on Christmas Day were concerned about the effects of alcohol being consumed in the home, while several others were alone, or looking after siblings and feeling isolated and lonely," Grainia added.

The ISPCC said they want to thank the public who have donated funds and taken part in fundraising events to ensure that Childline can continue to be there 24 hours a day for children all over Ireland. There has also been invaluable support from corporate partners who recognised how vital a service Childline is, especially over the Christmas period.

Ms Long continued: “It can be so unbelievably difficult for a child to find the courage to get in touch with Childline and that is why it is so important that we are here every day, especially at Christmas, to be there to listen to any children who need us. We will continue to do this and to believe and empower them and most importantly of all we will show these children that we care."

"As we embark on a new year, the staff and management of the ISPCC wish to acknowledge the tremendous work, commitment and dedication of all of our volunteers who have worked consistently and tirelessly to bring about positive change in children and young people’s lives.

You can still donate to the Childline #NoSilentNight Christmas Appeal by texting “Silent” to 50300**

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