CHILDLINE founder and President Dame Esther Rantzen today visited the service’s Birmingham base to honour volunteers and staff who comfort and protect young people who have nowhere to turn.
And while at the Edgbaston base, Dame Esther issued an urgent appeal for more volunteers to ensure Childline is able to help as many young people as possible.
Dame Esther handed awards to counsellors who have dedicated thousands of hours to ensure children have a trusted person to speak to at all times of day and night.
New figures reveal that in 2017/18, a total of 40,790 counselling sessions to children and young people were delivered by the Birmingham base, with the most common concerns being mental and emotional health; family relationships; suicidal thoughts; bullying and self-harm.
Dame Esther told Charity Today:
“Our wonderful volunteers devote their spare time to being there for young people who need our help; we know they save lives and protect children from pain.
“Tens of thousands of contacts are made to the Birmingham base each year – but the tragedy is that Childline is only able to answer three out of four contacts.
“So we urgently need more volunteers, and anyone who is interested in being a Childline counsellor should know that they will be trained and supported thoroughly throughout their time here. They often tell me that their time with us is the best time of the week because they know they make such a crucial difference.”
One of those being recognised for her dedication was Carol Lyndon, who has put in in an incredible 2,725 hours’ worth of service as a volunteer counsellor.
The 69-year-old from Great Barr said: “Esther always comes down to visit and talk to the volunteers – it makes you feel appreciated.
“Childline is even more important now. The changes in the types of calls we are getting is phenomenally different. It’s more important than ever that we get new volunteers.”
Kuljinder Nahal, volunteer co-ordinator at Childline in Birmingham said that volunteering at ChildLine is ‘so rewarding’.
She said: “Volunteering at Childline can be rewarding in so many different ways. Volunteers know they can develop themselves, make a difference and have their efforts celebrated at events like this.
“At Childline, we do recognise and value our volunteers and it’s great to see Dame Esther also recognising the work that is put in here.
“We need more people to join our team of volunteers so if you would like to help make a difference to children across the Midlands area, then please get in touch.”
If you are interested in volunteering at Childline, please contact Kuljinder Nahal on 01212277545