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Neglect, bereavement, emotional health and loneliness were among the topics discussed. Alamy Stock Photo
ISPCC

Childline was contacted by more than 1,000 children over Christmas

The children contacted the helpline between 23 to 25 December.

MORE THAN 1,000 children and young people contacted Childline between 23 and 25 December this year, the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) has revealed.

The charity, who runs the only 24-hour children’s helpline, said that “Christmas simply did not happen” for the cohort who called volunteers over the Christmas period.

Neglect, bereavement, emotional health and loneliness were among the topics discussed between phone operators and children who called the helpline.

A total of 1,097 children called Childline this year, representing an almost 20% increase in connections made this year compared with Christmas 2022 according to the ISPCC.

The ISPCC said: “The heartbreaking data, complied over a three-day Christmas period (December 23rd, 24th and 25th), shows that many children did not have Christmas at all this year.”

It is anticipated that around 400 children will call today, St Stephen’s Day, on what the charity is expecting to be its busiest day of the year.

Charity Chief Executive John Church said: “For too many children and young people, Christmas is sadly just another day. For some, the issues they encounter all year can worsen.”

“It can mean abuse, neglect and loneliness. For others, Christmas can present new worries and concerns.  Whatever the reason, they turn to Childline for support and for someone to listen,” he added.

Church thanked all the volunteers who have given their time to operate the phone line across the festive period.

He said the volunteers “leave their own families at Christmas to ensure there is always someone on the other end of the line when a child or young person needs them”.

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