Childline; 1,212 calls, texts, and messages from children and young people on Christmas Day
Childline, the ISPCC’s listening service for all young people in Ireland was busy on Christmas Day. Dedicated ISPCC volunteers from across Ireland who gave freely of their time throughout 2012 once again listened, and offered support to hundreds of children who needed to talk on Christmas Day.
For most children, Christmas is a time to have fun and spend time with family. For many others however, the reality is very different and Christmas can be a difficult time to be at home. The season can bring unwelcome stress and trauma and alcohol abuse in the home can also have a hugely negative impact on children.
Our volunteers heard and responded to 1,212 calls, texts and messages from children through Childline’s 24 hour telephone service and our Childline text and online services on Christmas Day. This number of contacts reflects the continuing demand for all of the ISPCC services throughout 2012.
Margie Roe, National Childline Manager stated; “Children contacted Childline on Christmas Day for a variety of reasons but many of the calls as with throughout the year were from those experiencing family difficulties, loneliness and mental health issues. In some cases these children and young people feel they can’t talk to family and are not sure who to turn to. In these instances it is vital that services like Childline are there to offer listening support”
This year the ISPCC published the findings of their National Children’s Consultation “Not bottled up inside” which explored young people’s perception of social support and how this impacts on their mental and emotional health. Of the 14,000 surveyed, family life was found to have the most impact on emotional wellbeing (44%) while 15% said they could not really talk to their family.
Ms Roe added “The findings of our consultation indicated that those who say that they have family around when they need them and can count on their friends also report feeling less nervous, afraid and sad than young people who say that they do not have these supports in place. So it us up to us adults to reach out to young people and give the message that we care. It can be hard sometimes in family life to talk about difficult issues but it is so important that young people know that they have someone to turn to. When these young people call Childline, we always encourage them to talk with a trusted adult”
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. While it has been another difficult financial year, the ISPCC has been determined to maintain our current services and try to ensure that as many children as possible are heard.
To members of the public a huge thank you, for without your financial support the ISPCC and Childline would simply not be in a position to continue to provide the services that we do.
The staff and management of the ISPCC wish to acknowledge the tremendous work, commitment and dedication of all of our volunteers who have worked tirelessly and determinedly to bring about positive change in children and young peoples lives.