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'Christmas should mean safety and happiness': Over 1,000 contacted Childline yesterday

Alcohol abuse was consistently mentioned by worried children who contacted the charity on Christmas Day.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

CHILDLINE WAS CONTACTED by over 1,000 children on Christmas Day, the charity said this afternoon.

There were 1,040 contacts by phone, web chat and live text services.  A team of 61 volunteers gave up their own Christmas and offered support to hundreds of children who needed to talk to someone.

Childline said that alcohol abuse was a recurrent theme brought up by children when they contacted the charity on Christmas Day. Some talked about difficulties they were having during the day, others said they had experienced the loss of a family member or family break-up.

ISPCC chief executive Grainia Long said: “Christmas should mean safety, warmth and happiness, but for many children that call our Childline service, this isn’t the reality.

Some children who contacted Childline on Christmas day are experiencing loneliness, loss and domestic violence over this festive period which makes what should be a happy time very difficult for them but thanks to our dedicated volunteers, Childline is here to listen and support them.

“We would like to thank sincerely our volunteers for giving up their Christmas day in order to listen to these children. Childline is here for children every day of the year and we couldn’t provide this essential service without the support of our dedicated, committed and highly-trained volunteers.”

How to get support from Childline:
By phone: Children and young people can contact Childline’s 24 hour phone service by phoning 1800 666666.
By text: Text the word: ‘talk’ to 50101 (service available from 10am to 4am)
Live online chat: Available from 10am to 4am, live chat on Childline.ie
Online: Support and advice for children and parents can be found on ispcc.ie and childline.ie

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