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More than 700 children contacted Childline over Christmas

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Childline took calls from over 1000 children on Christmas Day

Childline took calls from over 1000 children on Christmas Day

Childline took calls from over 1000 children on Christmas Day

HUNDREDS of children called Childline during Christmas day and night this year.

Volunteers with Ireland’s 24-hour listening service answered 723 calls, online contacts and texts from children and young people across the country.

According to the organisation Covid-19 restrictions “appeared to intensify challenges for children and young people”.

Issues raised by the callers included mental health difficulties, family tensions and isolation.

Domestic violence and the impact of excessive alcohol intake were also brought up.

The service answered 615 calls, texts and online contacts between midnight on Christmas Eve and midnight on Christmas Night.

There were also 108 contacts between midnight on Christmas Night and 6am St Stephen’s Day.

There were 35 volunteers who gave their time on Christmas Day to keep the service open for any child or young person seeking someone to talk to.

“While many homes fill with love and warmth on Christmas Day, we know from the children who turn to Childline that the magic of the season does not reach every child,” said ISPCC Chief Executive John Church.

“For some, what ought to have been the most joyful of times can be the most frightening. Tensions are heightened and children were left feeling lonely, upset and afraid.”

“Never before has a year presented so many challenges to so many children. They have borne the brunt of huge upheaval, with extended school closures, separation from their grandparents and other loved ones and more,” he added.

“In many cases, there has been anxiety at every turn – and they have picked up on this.”

Her added that they are “hugely grateful” to the volunteers and it was “striking” that a number of children called to say thanks for the support they received this year.

Childline is a free, non-judgmental and non-directive service, available 24 hours a day, every day, to every child and young person up to the age of 18 in Ireland.

Childline can be reached by: Calling: 1800 66 66 66, chatting online at: Childline.ie, text to: 5010

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