Nearly 800 children contacted Childline this Christmas Day
Not a merry Christmas for all.
According to TheJournal.ie, volunteers working with Childline answered 793 phone calls, texts and online contacts from distressed and upset children this Christmas Day.
Childline runs a 24-hour listening service for children and young people, with 42 volunteers working yesterday to respond to contacts from children.
The charity, which is open every day and is for all children and young people up to the age of 18 in Ireland, admits that although the number is high, it is actually a reduction in calls from last year, when 1,267 children made contact with Childline on Christmas Day.
Speaking to The Journal, John Church, the CEO of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, explained that Christmas Day can be an “upsetting time for many”.
“Many who expected to enjoy the day awoke to a very different scene from that which they had imagined. Tensions can be heightened at this time of year and often children are left feeling frightened, or alone,” he said.
“We are hugely grateful to each of those who give up their time with their own loved ones throughout the holiday season to be there for children who seek support,” he added.
Church says that some of the children who contacted Childline this Christmas Day told the charity that they were feeling distressed because of anxiety, grief, loneliness and substance abuse in their homes.
More heartwarmingly, several volunteers also received messages from children who wanted to thank the charity for its support throughout the year.
Childline can be contacted by phone 24 hours a day at 1800 66 66 66, while online chat and text services can be contacted between 10am and 4am by visiting Childline.ie or texting to 50101.