Kate Demolder
Kate Demolder

12.12 26 Dec 2020


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Volunteers with Childline answered 723 calls, texts and online messages from children across Ireland on Christmas Day. 

Children who contacted the helpline raised issues such as mental health difficulties, domestic violence, and isolation.

Family tensions and the aftermath of excessive alcohol use were also raised by children who made contact.

A free, non-judgemental and non-directive service, Childline is Ireland’s 24-hour active listening service for children and young people up to the age of 18.

The number is a slight decrease on last year when Childline answered 793 calls, online contacts and texts from children, and 2017 when it recorded 1,020 contacts. 

The service answered 615 calls, texts and online contacts between midnight on Christmas Eve and midnight on Christmas Day, along with 108 contacts across all service options combined between midnight on the 25th and 6am this morning.

35 volunteers gave up their time on Christmas Day to ensure the service remained active for any child or young person seeking a listening ear.

ISPCC Chief Executive John Church said: “Never before has a year presented so many challenges to so many children. They have borne the brunt of huge upheaval, with extended school closures, separation from their grandparents and other loved ones and more. In many cases, there has been anxiety at every turn – and they have picked up on this.

“We are hugely grateful to our exceptional Childline volunteers across the country who have helped to make sure that every child and young person has somewhere they can turn 24 hours a day, every day, at this critical time."

Church continued by heralding the importance of donating to ensure "that 2021 will be a better year for us all":

“None of this would be possible without the sustained generosity of the general public, who have stepped in at a time when many of the vital fundraisers on which we rely each year could not take place.

"We are sincerely grateful to all of the individuals, communities, creatives, schools, corporates and everyone who supported us throughout 2020 and helped make sure Childline was always here for every child and young person.

To learn more about how to donate, volunteer or support ISPCC Childline in the year 2021, visit www.ispcc.ie/Christmas.


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