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sad times More than 1,000 children and teens contact Childline over Christmas period

Family conflict, mental health and self-harm were among the issues spoken about by children and young people who turned to the service

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(Stock image)

(Stock image)

(Stock image)

Over 1,000 kids and teens contacted the Childline helpline between Christmas Eve and St Stephen’s Day.

More than 100 volunteers across Ireland gave up their time over Christmas to help young people and ensure they didn’t have to face their challenges alone.

Family conflict, mental health and self-harm were among the issues spoken about by children and young people who turned to the Childline listening service for support on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St. Stephen’s Day this year.

The 24-hour service is provided a free, non-judgmental and non-directive service provided by the ISPCC.

“While Christmas is often a time of great joy for children and young people, we know from those who turn to Childline that the magic of the season does not reach every child,” ISPCC Chief Executive John Church said.

“This year, many children did not wake up to the kind of Christmas Day they had dreamed of. Tensions may have come to the surface in their homes, they may have struggled with challenges to their mental and emotional health, or there may have been an empty place at their table due to bereavement.”

“Many turned to Childline to tell us how they felt anxious, upset and isolated.”

“No matter what is on the mind of a child or young person on any day or night of the year, Childline is here to listen to them, believe them, support and empower them,” he continued.

“ This is made possible with thanks to the exceptional dedication of our Childline volunteers.”

“We are hugely grateful to them for their generosity in giving up their time at Christmas to help make sure every child and young person has somewhere they can turn.”

John also thanked the people of Ireland for “all they do to help keep the service” running 24 hours a day, every day.

“At a time when many of the fundraising events on which we rely each year have not been possible, we are sincerely grateful to everyone who has donated or found innovative new ways of raising funds to keep us here for children.”

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