Childline volunteers will answer over 1,000 calls from children this Christmas Day.
Last Christmas day, Childline volunteers answered over 1,040 calls from frightened, lonely or hurt children.
At Childline, there is no silent night. While houses across the country are filled with Christmas cheer and excitement, there are also houses filled with fear and violence. There are children experiencing fear, loneliness, pain and neglect.
Thankfully, many of these children reach out to Childline. Some share their worries and fears, however others are too afraid to talk. They feel alone and helpless. Christmas is just another day for children and young people across Ireland and that is why Childline volunteers are there to answer their calls 24/7. Our incredible volunteers give up their time to be there for children who need someone to listen.
These include children like Ben, whose call was answered by Childline volunteer Anne last Christmas. Eight-year-old Ben sat on his bed holding the phone in one hand and keeping his other arm wrapped tightly around his little brother Adam. Adam, who was only six years old, was whimpering in fear. Their parents were too busy fighting downstairs to notice.
This was not the Christmas Day the brothers had looked forward to so much – and they knew from experience it was going to get worse. Adam began to cry uncontrollably as Ben told us what was happening. His dad’s raised voice was getting louder and louder and he could hear his Mummy crying. Ben told Anne that he felt sick and, when she asked why, he said in a small voice that he was afraid for his Mummy.
Ben knew what came after the shouting. Adam squeezed his teddy and held Ben’s hand tightly. Ben pleaded with his little brother not to make a noise or cry – because their daddy didn’t like cry-babies. Ben was upset that Christmas was ruined again. He was frightened because his dad was drunk again. He was upset that he couldn’t make it all stop. How could he? He was just a child.
Ben needed someone to talk to. He needed someone to care. So he called Childline. Even though it was Christmas Day, there was someone there to answer Ben’s call and to give him comfort and support in any way he needed.
ISPCC Childline needs your support so our volunteers can keep listening to children and young people like Ben and others 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The ISPCC has a number of different ways you can support and donate to our services this year. Our Holly Pins will be on sale across the country. We have Christmas cards and E-cards available and we have teamed up with Santa himself, to organise letters from the North Pole.
For a small amount, you can make sure that we are there to answer every call on Christmas day – and every day. Your donation will be a part of every call, every text and every online contact ISPCC Childline volunteers answer.
Donations to ISPCC Childline can also be made here.