Volunteering with ChildLine

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ChildLine stop by to tell us more about volunteering with their helpline service

Every child has the right to be happy and safe. That’s why our ChildLine service is here for children whatever their worry, whenever they need help.

A child contacts ChildLine every 20 seconds and some are going through the toughest times of their lives. Thanks to our helpline volunteers, ChildLine is there to offer children advice and support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Our Glasgow ChildLine base is one of the busiest in the UK. We have 170 volunteer counsellors and 16 supervisors who ensure the team are trained, prepared and debriefed after every shift. But we need more.

Last year, at ChildLine Glasgow we provided telephone support to 45,000 young people and more than doubled our responses to email contacts and webchats. Volunteers enabled us to respond to a total of 74,000 contacts from children and young people, providing advice and support when children needed it most.

There are many reasons why a child might contact us. They may be stressed about exams, relationships with parents or being bullied. Some may even be feeling suicidal when they reach out to us for help. Every child is important to us – that’s why we need more volunteers to help us answer every call, chat and email we receive.

One such volunteer is Erin Burns (24) from Wishaw. After graduating with a BEd from the University of Glasgow in 2012 she is now a primary school teacher. Erin first heard about ChildLine when she was at school, but it wasn’t until her BEd course at the University of Glasgow that she started to research helping children further: “I was interested in getting some volunteering experience so I checked out the Volunteer Scotland website. There were a lot of different opportunities but ChildLine really jumped out at me as a service that I would like to give my time to.”

Erin started acting as the first point of call on the switchboard and then took on a new role as a telephone counsellor in 2013: “I love being part of the team – I’ve made good friends here. There is a nice atmosphere and it’s good to do something productive and worthwhile with my spare time. But the thing I would say I enjoy most of all is the opportunity to work with and support children and young people. They are the best thing about working with ChildLine.”

To find out more about volunteering with ChildLine contact:

Lynn O’Hara
lohara@nspcc.org.uk
or visit nspcc.org.uk/volunteer