Thousands of children turn to ChildLine in run up to Christmas

Watford Observer: Thousands of children turn to ChildLine in run up to Christmas Thousands of children turn to ChildLine in run up to Christmas

Christmas is a magical time of year for most children across south west Hertfordshire, but sadly there are some for whom it can be an incredibly difficult and lonely time.

ChildLine figures released on Monday show the free, confidential, 24-hour helpline and online service provided by the NSPCC, is expecting counsellors at its base in London to carry out 4,371 counselling sessions from children and young people across the UK this month.

In December last year, the centre received 601 contacts about family relationship issues, which could be anything from worries relating to parents separating to arguments with family members and wanting to leave home or go into care. Trained volunteers also carried out 517 counselling sessions about bullying and online bullying, and saw a worrying trend towards children contacting the service with concerns that posed a serious risk to their lives, including 192 about suicide and 337 about self-harm.

One child who contacted ChildLine last Christmas told a counsellor: “I don't enjoy the Christmas holidays. There is always too much alcohol and fighting in my house. My parents are always arguing and my dad hits my mum. Sometimes I feel invisible. Talking to ChildLine helps me get some relief from my problems.”

Rosanne Pearce, ChildLine Senior Supervisor, said: “Our ChildLine volunteers will be spending Christmas Day not with their families, but seeing the other side of the festive season.

“We’ll be talking to children and young people for whom Christmas can be a truly miserable time, listening to them, providing advice and support and being there for them when they have nowhere else to turn.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that ChildLine really could be the difference between life and death for some children this Christmas. Please help us be there when they need us most – just £4 will help us answer a call this Christmas.”

ChildLine provides a lifeline for thousands of children at Christmas. To ensure that trained counsellors can continue to listen and offer help, advice and support to children and young people who need to talk, even on Christmas Day, the NSPCC has launched its Christmas Call for Help Appeal.

Visit or text HOPE to 70744 to donate £4 and help answer a call to ChildLine this Christmas.

Children and young people can contact ChildLine 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0800 1111 and at


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