Growing up isn’t easy – and no matter how strong and adaptable children are, stress can take a toll. Every week volunteer counsellors in Aberdeen listen to, and support, children who contact the NSPCC’s Childline service – sometimes sharing their worries or concerns for the first time.
Our volunteers in Aberdeen counsel young people around the UK, so that they don’t have to cope alone. We know that right now many children are not coping. They’re dealing with additional pressures and worries as a result of the pandemic, and mental and emotional health remains the top concern for children contacting Childline.
The service provides a safe space to turn, whatever difficulties a young person may be facing and no matter how big or small it may seem to them. Whatever life throws at them, our counsellors are here to show children that they matter, they are understood and they’re not alone.
The service is available 24/7, thanks to volunteers who support 12 Childline bases and our virtual team across the UK. It couldn’t run without people who have a passion to help children and a willingness to volunteer a few hours of their time each week. Last Saturday, as we marked Childline’s 35th anniversary, 11 of our volunteers from our Aberdeen base gave up even more of their time to raise vital funds for the charity. They raised more than £800 by taking on a 5k inflatable assault course challenge.
Childline can make a difference simply by listening
A Childline counsellor’s role is to understand where a child is at when they call and help them to see where they can get to. They can really make a difference and empower a child by simply listening. And that’s what our counsellors have been doing for the past 35 years.
Although Covid restrictions have eased and life is gradually returning back to a new kind of normal, we know that there are many children who are struggling.
Children tell our counsellors that the pandemic continues to have an impact on their whole family. Some have talked about the stress their parents face and arguments at home, others have spoken about worries about catching Covid, and others have shared their experiences of abuse and neglect during lockdowns.
Children can speak to a Childline counsellor over the phone on 0800 1111 or online at childline.org.uk about any worries they have. Adults who are concerned about a child’s welfare can contact the NSPCC helpline by calling 0808 800 5000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gail Sayles is NSPCC Scotland Local Campaigns Manager
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