This month I was delighted to join the President of Childline, Dame Esther Rantzen and the CEO of the NSPCC, Peter Wanless at a Parliamentary event to celebrate the 30th birthday of Childline. I also met some of the supporters and volunteers who help make the 24hours a day, 365 days a year service possible.
I have previously shown my support for Childline by helping to bring the Childline schools service into Parliament so more MPs could see for themselves how it is working.
Since its launch in 1986, Childline has helped 4 million children who have reached for the number and been able to talk about feeling afraid, confused or alone. These days children can contact Childline on the phone or by e-mail or 1-2-1 online chat. And this year Childline are launching a new campaign, “Listen to your Selfie”, to raise awareness of online grooming and child sexual exploitation.
Childline is there for teenagers as well as young children. Today’s young people are facing so many pressures which affect their mental health, problems at school and sexual abuse. Whatever the dangers or worries they are living with, very often children have not felt able to talk to anyone about them until they make contact with Childline. These pressures are well understood by the trained Childline counsellors, who are there to help online and on the phone 365 days a year.