Friday 19 July 2024
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Nottingham Childline Volunteer to Support Children this Christmas Day

A dedicated team of volunteer Childline counsellors are going to do their utmost to support young people this Christmas.


Helping to deliver these vital counselling sessions in Nottingham on Christmas Day is Childline volunteer Vicky O’Brien. Vicky said:

“I have been volunteering at Childline for 13 years and it is such a privilege to be available to listen to and support children and young people whenever they need it.

“Christmas can be a magical time, but if things are hard then it can leave children and young people feeling incredibly isolated and lonely. Childline is always there for them and it’s never more important than over Christmas time.”

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Last year, Childline delivered just over 6,000 counselling sessions during the Christmas period. The top concerns were mental and emotional health (2,239), suicidal thoughts and feelings (759), family relationships (626) and self-harm (397).

Between April and October 2021, Childline delivered 3,845 counselling sessions where a child talked about difficulty accessing mental health services, which was more than double the number of counselling sessions during the same period last year.


When asked about her experience working on Christmas Day, Vicky said:

“During my previous shifts over Christmas, I have spoken to children and young people who have lost someone very close and are missing them. I’ve had young people speak to me about suffering abuse at home and their need to talk to someone, as their usual support and distractions are not available. I’ve also spoken to young people who are struggling to keep themselves safe and even children wondering if Santa will ever come or why he didn’t.

“The power of someone listening to you and really hearing you is incredible. Childline is such a valuable service and one I am so proud to be part of it all year, but especially at Christmas.”


Meanwhile, on the night of Tuesday 21 December famous landmarks across the country will light up green in support of the NSPCC’s Walk for Children. There will be eight landmarks in Nottingham lighting up and turning the NSPCC’s trademark green including the Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham Green’s Windmill & Science Centre and Nottingham City Hall.

Also, hundreds of people from across the UK will walk 5k to support and raise money for the children’s charity. The people taking to the streets to walk and the landmarks lighting up green represent the hard-working Childline counsellors who are there for children, offering a beacon of light in their darkest times.


Adam Penford, the Artistic Director of Nottingham Playhouse, said:

“Every child should be able to enjoy a wonderful Christmas without fear, worry or harm. This is why it is an absolute pleasure to be backing the NSPCC’s Christmas campaign and to be part of such an incredible cause.

“We are lighting up green on the 21st of December to help highlight Childline as an incredible service so that children and young people in and around Nottingham know that whatever their problem and whatever their circumstance, they will never be alone.”


Trainee miller Leigh Evans, of Nottingham Green’s Windmill and Science Centre, said:

“We will be lighting up Green’s Windmill in Green to show our support for NSPCC. Their services help protect children at risk and find the best ways to prevent them from being hurt. They work directly with children and families in national and regional hubs across the UK and Channel Islands and give support to thousands of children and young people in need through the NSPCC helpline and Childline. The work they carry out really is invaluable.”


Barbara Elsey, Community Fundraising Manager for Nottingham, said:

“Each building in Nottingham taking part will shine as a beacon of hope in order to show all children and young people that they can always call Childline, whatever their problems and whatever their circumstance, and they will always get help.

“So, come and join us on the 21st of December. Sign up for Walk for Children as this is a great chance to get out and about over the festive period and to perhaps pass these great Nottingham landmarks to grab a few pictures. When you do, please remember to use the hashtag #WalkforChildren on social media.

“People are being encouraged to dress up and get creative with reindeer antlers, Santa hats and light-up accessories, to shine through the night for all children everywhere.”

The other Nottingham landmarks taking part include: Nottingham City Hall, The Cornerhouse, The Theatre Royal, Royal Concert Hall, The Trent Building (University of Nottingham) and the Arkwright Building (Nottingham Trent University).

The Childline service is here for children every day, even on Christmas Day. Children can contact Childline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When a child needs help, Childline can be a lifeline. When a child feels like they have nowhere else to turn to, it’s vital that the NSPCC is here, ready to listen and support children across the UK.

To sign-up for Walk for Children and for more information, please visit the NSPCC website.


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