The manager of Childline in Foyle has said volunteers here have been helping make sure children in need known they are not alone over the festive season.
Georgina McGlinchey, Service Manager at Childline’s Foyle base, is among the team the festive period into the New Year. She said: “For many children they won’t have a Christmas or be able to celebrate so my goal is to help them feel that they are not alone.
“Christmas is as busy for us as any other time of the year and the concerns of children are the same – they are contacting us in their hundreds about mental or emotional health concerns, family relationships, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and sexual abuse.”
Volunteers at Childline’s two Northern Ireland bases in Belfast and Foyle were among those working on Christmas Day (yesterday), On Christmas Eve, and will again be working on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
Last year over these days volunteers from Belfast and Foyle carried out 444 counselling sessions with children from across the UK, having carried out 312 in 2014/15.
Children’s mental and emotional health was the most frequently-expressed concern faced by counsellors, followed by family relationships and suicidal feelings.
To support the NSPCC’s festive campaign text ‘NSPCC 4’ to 70744 to donate £4, or visit www.nspcc.org.uk. Text costs include your donation of £4 plus your standard network rate. The NSPCC will receive 100% of your donation.
Children can contact Childline 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk