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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 18 November, 2018
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Childline received over 1,000 calls and messages from children on Christmas Day

Some got in touch because they were worried about alcohol abuse while others simply needed company.

Image: sad boy image via Shutterstock

THE CHILDLINE LISTENING service received some 1,176 calls, texts and messages throughout Christmas Day this year.

The service which is open 24 hours, 365 days a year had a total of 70 volunteers from across the country who gave up their time yesterday to listen to the worries and problems of children on what should have been a happy, carefree day for all kids.

The service said the festive season can be fraught with financial pressures, family difficulties, isolation and alcohol abuse.

The calls and messages received by Childline reflected this with children getting in touch to seek support and reassurance while some simply needed company.

Homelessness was also a common theme this year. Childline has received 900 contacts from children concerned about homelessness in 2015 prompting it to launch a dedicated text service for these particular cases.

“Children are keenly aware of difficulties in the home and often the festive period can exacerbate tensions. Many of the children who contacted Childline on Christmas Day were concerned about the effects of alcohol being consumed in the home, while several others were alone, or looking after siblings and feeling isolated and lonely,” commented Childline chief executive Grainne Long.

It can be so unbelievably difficult for a child to find the courage to get in touch with Childline and that is why it is so important that we are here every day, especially at Christmas, to be there to listen to any children who need us. We will continue to do this and to believe and empower them and most importantly of all we will show these children that we care.

Long said it would be impossible for the service to operate the hours it does without the public’s support over the last year and the incredible work of its volunteers.

The number for Childline is 1800 666 666 and the service is always open. 

Read: Feeling down today? There are people you can talk to>

Read: ‘I’m scared for my younger brother, who is getting him dressed and bringing him to school?’>

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