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40% of Christmas calls to Childline unanswered
[Posted: Tue 23/11/2010 by Deborah Condon www.irishhealth.com]
Almost 40% of calls made to Childline last Christmas Day were left unanswered due to a lack of funds, the ISPCC has said.
It has just launched its annual Christmas appeal to raise the funds necessary to ensure that all children can access the services they need.
According to the charity, 2010 has seen a ‘huge increase' in demand for all of its services, as well as a big jump in abuse and welfare cases. It said that while Christmas should be a time of fun and happiness, for some the reality is very different.
"Christmas can become a time to fear. It can bring unwelcome stress and trauma. On Christmas Day last year, over 900 vulnerable children engaged with the ISPCC, many seeking protection against abuse and violence on what should be their most enjoyable day of the year," the charity explained.
According to ISPCC chief executive officer, Ashley Balbirnie, the charity has seen a huge increase in demand as the current state of the economy impacts on children and their families.
"Christmas should be a family time, but at the ISPCC, we see an increase in calls throughout this period from children seeking help. Christmas is a time for giving and a time for sharing. Donations to the ISPCC are essential to support our efforts to help these defenseless children," he said.
So far this year, the ISPCC has already received over 722,800 calls for assistance from children all over Ireland - that's over 56,000 more calls than at the same time last year. Reasons for this increase may be related to the recession, with many parents experiencing financial worries and as a result, greater stress and tension. This stress may be taken out inadvertently on children, the charity noted.
It is calling on people to make a donation now and make Christmas a happier time for children in need. Donations can be made through the ISPCC website, www.ispcc.ie, by calling 1850 50 40 50, or by purchasing an ISPCC ‘Holly badge', available nationwide for €2 through ISPCC street collections and shopping centres in the run up toChristmas.
The ISPCC also offers a range of low-cost Christmas cards and gifts in their online Christmas shop.
For more information on the Christmas appeal, click here
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