Women’s Aid and ISPCC Childline have extended their gratitude to An Post and its customers for raising a phenomenal sum of €75,000 to help the services provide vital support to women and children in Ireland this autumn and winter.
The funds raised through each purchase of An Post’s ‘Send Love’ stamps this summer have been donated in equal parts to Women’s Aid and ISPCC Childline and come at a time when both organisations have experienced an increase in demand and have been unable to continue with regular fundraising endeavours.
Women’s Aid is the national organisation for women affected by domestic abuse, operating the 24hr National Freephone Helpline, a web based messaging support service and a number of one to one supports services. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, calls to the Women’s Aid National Helpline have risen by 43%.
Childline is Ireland’s only 24-hour active listening service for children and young people, providing a free, confidential and non-judgemental space where children can talk about any issue on their mind. The service has answered over 125,000 online contacts, phone calls and texts from children and young people since restrictions were first introduced in March.
Sarah Benson, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said: “We are thrilled to receive such a generous donation from An Post and its customers to support our vital frontline services at this critical time. Covid-19 has shone a further light on the crisis of domestic violence in homes across Ireland. As we all retreated to our homes for safety, it became increasingly clear that home is not a safe place for everyone. Trapped with abusers and denied outlets that may have offered them support and respite in the face of abuse before, women came up with ingenious ways to get in touch with us. Women called us from their car, from the garden shed, from the bathroom with the shower running. Our frontline services have been stretched to the limit and this donation means that we are now able to increase cover on the 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800341900 now and in 2021 to maximise our availability to callers seeking support day or night. Thank you to everyone who supported the ‘#SendLove’ campaign.”
John Church, Chief Executive, ISPCC Childline, said: “We are delighted by the generosity which An Post and its customers have shown to our service at this critical time. Children and young people have borne much upheaval this year. They have spoken with Childline about how they have experienced abuse and violence, mental health difficulties and a range of other issues. This support will help to make sure they will always have somewhere they can turn this autumn, winter and beyond – no matter what challenges they may face. This will help keep Childline listening 24 hours a day, every day. For this, we are hugely grateful.”
Julie Gill, Marketing Manager with An Post has responded to the announcement by Women’s Aid and ISPCC Childline, saying “An Post is delighted to be able to support the work of these two charities during the difficult time created by COVID-19. The ‘Send Love’ stamps campaign was successful because it was backed by our customers, who got their stamps online and in post offices, helping to make a difference to the lives of women and children in their own communities. This is one of the many initiatives which has been part of our Community Response to COVID-19. An Post wish both Women’s Aid and ISPCC Childline the very best with their work in the coming months.”