To mark 30 years of Childline, the free 24-hour counselling service for children and young people, Nigel Huddleston MP hosted a special event in the House of Commons to hear from its founder, Dame Esther Rantzen. There were also presentations from a Childline counsellor and six children who had used Childline.
Dame Esther spoke about how Childline is more in demand than ever before, counselling more than 300,000 children and young people every year. She also explained that since the charity introduced online support and counselling in 2009, more than two-thirds (71%) of the counselling sessions take place online.
Childline counsellor, Michelle Turnbull, who has been volunteering for Childline for five years, gave the Peers and MPs an insight into the counselling sessions. She described the time she took a call from a young girl who was suicidal and listened and spoke to her for more than hour - they even wrote a song together. Two months later the girl called Childline back to give counsellors an update on her progress.
Nigel said: “It was a privilege to host the 30th anniversary event for Childline. I have known Esther for many years and she continues to inspire with her incredible dedication to helping the most vulnerable children in our society. It was a great joy also to meet some young users of Childline’s service and to learn how Childline has helped to turn their lives around. Childline has helped more than 4.5 million children to date. I am so pleased to have the opportunity to help highlight the immensely valuable work that they do.”
During Childline’s birthday week the NSPCC released new data that reveals a 35% rise in anxiety in the past year, with 11,706 children and young people being counselled by Childline in 2015/16 compared to 8,642 in 2014/15. An increasing number of children and young people are being struck down by the problem, with causes ranging from personal and family issues to concerns about world affairs.
Nigel added a final word: “Don’t forget that Childline’s free phone number is 0800 11 11 and all children can call this number in complete confidence.”
For more information contact Lucy Lermer on 0207 219 5814 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Manager to Nigel Huddleston MP
0207 219 5814
House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
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