Do your bit for children in distress this Christmas

Childline received 1,176 calls from children who were scared, neglected, sad, or lonely on Christmas day last year.

To mark that sad statistic the charity have launched a renewed awareness campaign highlighting their services and appealing for public support.

"Letting a child know that there is somebody who wants to listen, someone who cares, can make all the difference."

As part of the campaign Childline Chief Executive, Grainia Long revealed how children call Childline for a wide variety of reasons on Christmas Day and how this year the ISPCC has a number of different ways you can support and donate to our services.

The charity will have Holly Pins and a range of Chritmas baubles on sale across the country available in denominations of €10, €20 or €50 and will be posted directly to you. The online shop will also have Christmas cards and Santa letters available.

Childline volunteer, Jenny Nolan, said: “My memories of Christmas as a child have always been of family, happiness and joy. It is very hard to leave my own family on Christmas Day while they are all enjoying games, fun and laughter. But when I think that I may be one of the only listening ears for a child in need, I feel privileged to be a part of that child’s Christmas – a child who may not share in the happiness and joy that I go home to after my shift.”

"But when I think that I may be one of the only listening ears for a child in need, I feel privileged to be a part of that child’s Christmas – a child who may not share in the happiness and joy that I go home to after my shift.”

Grainia Long went on to suggest Christmas should mean safety, warmth and happiness, but for many children that wasn’t the reality.

"Our Childline volunteers won’t be home at Christmas, they will be in our Childline units, all around the country, taking calls from over 1,100 distressed children who need someone to talk to.

"The ISPCC is calling on the public to support our Christmas shop and help volunteers continue to have conversations with children, not just on Christmas Day but 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“Never give up on a child. Ever. You can help us try keep that promise.”

Check out the range of ways you can help at the ISPCC shop here or donate directlyhere.

To get support from Childline contact Childline’s 24 hour phone service by phoning 1800 666666; text the word: ‘talk’ to 50101 (service available from 10pm to 4am); take part in a live online chat available from 10am to 4am www.ispcc.ie and find various other items of support and advice for children and parents on www.ispcc.ie.

Childline is the only 24-hour listening service which seeks to support and empower children and young people in Ireland. Last year, Childline had conversations with almost 440,000 children and young people who contacted the service for help and advice with wide-ranging serious issues, including abuse, violence, exploitation, addiction and suicide.

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