This Christmas, a child will contact Childline every 25 seconds. Childline counsellors are there to help children with the problems they’re facing, online and on the phone, 365 days a year.
The formation of Childline epitomises what is possible when people act to support others. Here we explore how Childline, now part of the NSPCC, has sustained and evolved in its first 30-years.
“Childline launched in 1986 and I remember that night vividly. 40 volunteers were valiantly trying to handle a staggering 50,000 calls. In an instant we could see just how essential the service was to the nation’s children. And it still is as essential as it ever was. Now 30 years later, we still receive a million contacts a year from desperate children and young people who have nowhere else to turn. Childline literally saves lives.” Dame Esther Rantzen, Founder and President
I was a child in the UK watching that first broadcast on BBC TV by Esther Rantzen when it began. Years later, it inspired me to read her wonderful, yet, disturbing book Running Out of Tears. The book describes the moving personal stories of ChildLine’s children over the first 25 years. We encourage you to read the book and channel energies to support this worthwhile charity.
Every childhood is worth fighting for
Counsellors are there to help children with the problems they’re facing, online and on the phone, 365 days a year. Your support will help make sure Childline is there to listen and respond quickly when a child finds the courage to contact them. 0800 1111 is the only BT phone number that has remained unchanged.
30 years of Childline 1986 – 2016
“Fortunately, we have seen a dramatic shift take place. Whereas 30 years ago, children had often been suffering for over a decade before they spoke out, nowadays they often come to us within a month of abuse starting.”
Deservedly so, Esther Rantzen became a Dame in the Queen’s New Year Honours list in 2015.
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Photographs courtesy of Tom Hull, NSPCC