Belfast Telegraph

1000 children contacted helplines on Christmas Day

More than 1,000 children in Ireland contacted helplines run by the ISPCC on Christmas Day.

The charity said its volunteers received 1,040 contacts from youngsters across Ireland using their freephone, web chat and live text supports.

The ISPCC said children spoke about family problems, loneliness, mental health issues and the impact of drink in their homes over the holiday.

Others experienced the loss of a family member or family break-up earlier in the year, the charity said.

Chief executive Grainia Long said: "Christmas should mean safety, warmth and happiness, but for many children that call our Childline service, this isn't the reality.

"Some children who contacted Childline on Christmas Day are experiencing loneliness, loss and domestic violence over this festive period which makes what should be a happy time very difficult for them but thanks to our dedicated volunteers, Childline is here to listen and support them.

"We would like to thank sincerely our volunteers for giving up their Christmas Day in order to listen to these children. Childline is here for children every day of the year and we couldn't provide this essential service without the support of our dedicated, committed and highly-trained volunteers."

The ISPCC said some children also made contact to thank volunteers for support throughout the year.

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