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Childline is at "breaking point" as donations continue to plummet

Some volunteers say they have been abused when fundraising by members of the public.

Image: child on phone

CHILDLINE HAS HIT ‘breaking point’ as charitable donations continue to decline, prompting fears for its future.

The 24-hour support service for children, run by the Irish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), receives up to 1,800 calls and messages everyday.

Already, as many as 1 in 3 calls go unanswered.

Recent controversies in the charitable sector has resulted in a significant decline in the amount of funding the ISPCC has received from the public and also the corporate sector.

Volunteers even claim to have been verbally abused while fundraising.

“I have seen first-hand the difference in how some people treat me when I am trying to raise money,” Monica, a volunteer with the ISPCC, said.

“I have been shouted at, argued with and most often ignored.”

The charity is now struggling under the weight of this, and has sparked fears that some services may need to be curtailed.

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“Be in no doubt that the ISPCC is at breaking point and cannot continue to provide vital nationwide 24-hour support if the current trend continues,” Ashley Balbirnie, Chief Executive of the ISPCC said.

“This will leave a huge vacuum for vulnerable children in Ireland… They will quite simply have nowhere to turn and these children who are brave enough to call Childline should not be casualties of a controversy they played no part in.”

Surveys of charities have shown that donations have fallen dramatic in recent weeks in the wake of controversies at the Central Remedical Clinic and Rehab Group.

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Nicky Ryan

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