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Childline expects to be contacted 900 times from children over Christmas

Dublin People 16 Dec 2020

Childline volunteers in Dublin and across Ireland are preparing to receive up to 900 calls, texts and online contacts from children and young people all over Ireland this Christmas season.

The 24-hour listening service will remain available to every child and young person throughout the country who would like support in relation to any issue which may be on their mind.

National Childline manager Emma McCluskey said: “Childline is always here for every child and young person, no matter what.

“Children and young people can contact Childline for free and in confidence from anywhere in Ireland and they won’t be judged or told what to do.

“Instead, Childline volunteers are here to listen, to support, to empower and to help children and young people to build resilience so they can cope with whatever challenges might come their way.

“Never before has a year posed so many challenges to children and young people.

“As soon as Covid-19 restrictions were first introduced in March, demand for our services surged.

“It very quickly became clear that issues including mental health difficulties, anxiety, self-harm, bullying, loneliness, abuse, violence and neglect do not stop in a pandemic.

“If anything, they are experienced all the more intensely. In recent months, more children and young people have been turning to Childline online. They may not feel comfortable having their conversation overheard at home.”

McCluskey said that the charity relies “heavily on public generosity to help keep us here for every child and young person 24 hours a day.”

She says that the charity depends on donations for 90 per cent of its funding.

“As Christmas Day is one of the busiest days of the year at Childline, we know that the magic of the season does not reach every home.

“Many children and young people’s Christmas wish lists are not filled with toys.

“Yet even when other services are not available, every child and young person can always reach Childline – with thanks to your support.

“We have always been fortunate to receive significant generosity from the people of Dublin and are extremely grateful for this.

“Every euro raised goes to help ensure our volunteers are always here and ready to support every child or young person – whether they are going through their darkest hour, or simply wish to talk.

“Individuals can help to support Childline this Christmas by visiting www.ispcc.ie/christmas.”

Children and young people can reach Childline at:

Call: 1800 666666

Online: Childline.ie

Text: 50101

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