Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen visited the helpline’s base in Aberdeen yesterday after it was revealed north-east volunteers and staff have carried out more than 130,000 counselling sessions with yougsters in need.
Since it opened in 2004, Abereen’s childline centre has helped a total of 132,230 kids who got in contact from across the UK needing to talk about issues like bullying, neglect, abuse and family relationships.
Yesterday Dame Esther spoke with north-east fundraiser, supporters and volunteers and thanked them for all their hard work.
She also appealed for more people to give up some of their spare time to make a major difference in children’s lives.
The former That’s Life! host said: “These new figures show Childline is now more important than ever, offering vital and life-changing support and advice to children around the clock.
“Without the service, many children will have nowhere else to turn to, and no one to listen to their concerns.
“The service has changed since it was launched over 30 years ago, with new dangers emerging like cyberbullying which can wreck young people’s lives.
“Childline wouldn’t be able to function without the wonderful support of all our volunteers, who show true warmth and compassion by making such a difference to children’s lives.
“But there is still a huge demand from children seeking help, and so it’s crucial we have volunteer counsellors on-hand here in Aberdeen to listen to and support those in need.”
In the last year alone, the Aberdeen service helped 11,171 youngsters, including 1,603 for children with family problems, and 1,134 with bullying problems, both on the internet and face to face.
Adeniyi Alade, the charity’s manager in the north-east said: “All of our volunteers here in Aberdeen are proud to work for Childline and make a difference to children’s lives, but we need to help meet the demand from young people who need our help – both online and over the phone.
“Dame Esther Ranzen visiting our base has been a massive boost to all our volunteers, and will spur them on to keep supporting children through tough times.”
To find out more about volunteering, visit the NSPCC’s website at www.nspcc.org.uk.
Young people needing to speak to a Childline operator can call 0800 111111.