Childline, the ISPCC’s listening service for all children and young people in Ireland was busy on Christmas Day. A total of 57 dedicated volunteers from across Ireland provided support to hundreds of children who needed to talk.
Christmas Day saw ISPCC volunteers listening to and responding to 1,208 calls, texts and messages from children through Childline’s 24 hour telephone, text and online service, with over 73% of these coming from male contacts.
Childline faced an unprecedented funding crisis in 2014, which threatened its ability to maintain the 24 hour nature of the service. Childline reached out to the general public through its emergency appeal and the people of Ireland responded wholeheartedly with donations of €400,000; a reflection of the place that Childline holds in the hearts and minds of the Irish public.
Furthermore a recent agreement between Childline and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs will greatly assist in maintaining the overnight service and ensuring that Childline remains open 24 hours a day
The calls and messages received by Childline this Christmas highlight that while for most children Christmas is a time to have fun and spend time with family, for many others it can be a difficult time.
Margie Roe, national Childline manager stated, “The season can bring unwelcome stress on families and issues such as financial pressures and alcohol misuse in the home can have a hugely negative impact on children’s experience of the day. Children contacted Childline on Christmas Day for a variety of reasons but the majority of calls this year were from children who were experiencing family difficulties and mental health issues.”