Volunteer Childline counsellors giving their time for children at Christmas
While many people will be celebrating Christmas with their friends and family this year, a selfless team of Childline volunteers will be giving up their time to listen to worried or abused children and young people.
Childline is a vital service that operates every day and Christmas Day is no different. Dedicated volunteer counsellors at Childline’s 12 bases across the UK, including in Cardiff and Prestatyn, will be working and answering calls from children and young people throughout the festive period.
A challenging time
Last year Childline delivered 5,501 counselling sessions with children across the UK during the 12 days of Christmas between December 24 and January 4, averaging around 450 a day.
Childline counsellors know that while many children will be looking forward to spending time with their loved ones, for others Christmas can be a challenging time.
For some, spending an extended amount of time at home with their family can lead to tensions or amplify existing issues and this can leave many children feeling upset and isolated.
Among the volunteers working a shift this Christmas Day are Borbala Martos and Childline supervisor Amy Beaumont who will be at the NSPCC’s Childline base in Cardiff.
Borbala said: “I’ve been a Childline Volunteer Counsellor for six years and I’m always happy to do a shift at Christmas, if I’m in Cardiff and not away visiting family.
“Christmas is supposed to be a magical time filled with warmth and happiness for children and young people, but we know all too well that’s not the case for some.
“At this time of year, children and young people who are lonely or vulnerable can feel even more isolated and in need of support, so for me, giving up a few hours of my Christmas day, doesn’t feel like such a difficult thing to do, especially if I know that means being there for young people when they desperately need someone to talk to.”
Amy, who has been a supervisor with Childline for 13 years, said: “We are extremely lucky in Childline Cardiff to have such passionate and committed volunteers who continue to give their spare time, even during the holiday period.
“For some young people Christmas can be the most difficult time of the year and it’s also a time when they may have limited access to their usual support services. However, our Childline volunteers will be here to listen and give support at any time they need.
“The Childline service is here for children every day, even on Christmas Day. Children can contact Childline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. When a child needs help and Christmas means abuse, Childline is a lifeline and so it is vital that our counsellors are here and ready to listen and support children across the UK.”
Anyone who is interested in becoming a Childline Volunteer should visit the NSPCC website to find out more.
Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or childline.org.uk
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