Assembly Members back Childline appeal for more volunteers at it’s Prestatyn centre
Assembly Members from across the region have thrown their support Childline’s birthday appeal for volunteers.
Carl Sargeant, Assembly Member for Alyn and Deeside and North Wales Assembly Member Mark Isherwood joined Childline founder Esther Rantzen at a special event in the Senedd to mark the NSPCC-run helpline’s 30th birthday.
He pledged support for the helpline and signed a birthday card as new figures showed Welsh children contacted the helpline more than 7,600 times last year.
Mr Sargeant called for people in Alyn and Deeside to consider becoming volunteers at Childline’s advice centre in Prestatyn.
During her visit, Dame Esther Rantzen met volunteers at Cardiff’s Childline base, which only takes online enquiries. Almost three quarters of all the helpline’s requests for support are now received in this way.
Wales currently has 175 volunteers who undertook 22,000 counselling sessions in the last 12 months from bases in Cardiff and Prestatyn.
Last year Childline received more than 7,600 contacts to its bases across the UK from children living in Wales seeking help, advice and support. Not all of those who use the helpline reveal where they live, so the true figure could be higher.
Low self-esteem, family relationships and self-harm were the some of the most common concerns raised with volunteers, with a combined total of more than 2,800 counselling sessions undertaken on these issues with children in Wales. Bullying and online bullying accounted for almost 500 calls and online contacts.
Carl Sargeant AM said:
“I’d like to wish Childline a very happy birthday and say thank you to all its dedicated staff and volunteers who provide such a valuable service to our young people.
“With thousands of calls and online enquiries from children needing support and advice each year, Childline is always eager to hear from new volunteers willing to help
Mark Isherwood AM added:
“For 30 years, Childline has been a place for children to turn – even when it feels like no one else is listening. But right now it can only answer 3 out of every 4 contacts from children. More volunteers would enable it to help even more children and young people.
“Becoming a Childline volunteer means being there when a child needs you the most. Just 4 hours out of your week can help thousands of children and young people. Sometimes all they need is someone who has the time to listen. Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com