Over 1,000 calls made to Childline on Christmas Day

Volunteers are expecting thousands more calls before New Years Day

Childline received 1,020 calls on Christmas Day.

The free service is also expected to be used a lot over the next week.

Children who are feeling scared or upset today are being urged to contact Childline.

A number of the children and young people who called Childline on Christmas Day were experiencing or witnessing violence or abuse in their home and were audibly distressed. Many other callers spoke of feeling anxious, sad and socially isolated.

Childline volunteers also received calls from children and young people eager to thank them for their valued support throughout the year.

Grainia Long, CEO of the ISPCC explains why a child may call during Christmas:

'Maybe because there are underlying issues at home or it might be that they're missing someone very special to them so they often call us between Christmas and New Year because they have more time and they're off school.

And maybe they have some quiet time to ring and they want to talk to us and want someone to listen."

She also says there'll be plenty of volunteers over the course of this week right into the New Year,

"We'll have tens of volunteers working every day and they'll be working nationally.

We'll also have a range of volunteers who are working on calls and then those who'll be working online, so we have a range of different ways to get in touch with Childline.

“Childine is there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for children and young people throughout Ireland seeking a listening ear.

Our phone line can be contacted 24 hours a day at 1800 66 66 66, while our text line and online chat services can be contacted between 10am and 4am by texting ‘Talk’ to 50101 or visiting childline.ie.