Esther Rantzen visits local ChildLine base
In celebration of ChildLine's 25th anniversary, ChildLine founder and TV presenter Esther Rantzen CBE paid a visit to the West Midlands ChildLine base in Birmingham to pay tribute to volunteers and to highlight the continuing need for counsellors.
ChildLine, the UK's free 24-hour confidential helpline for children and young people, has been providing support and advice across the UK since 1986. During this time the service has developed so that young people can now access support online via the ChildLine website as well as by telephone.
Over the last 12 months ChildLine has counselled more than 265,000 children and young people. Last year (2010/11) the West Midlands base carried out over 37,000 counselling interactions with children from across the UK, either by phone or through its online service.
During her visit, Esther took time out to personally thank volunteers and staff for helping the service to be there for children and young people over the past 25 years, and called for more local volunteers to help with mid morning and late evening shifts.
Esther Rantzen CBE said: "I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the wonderful ChildLine volunteers at our Birmingham base because without our volunteers the service could not continue."
"ChildLine is a vital life line for thousands of children and young people who desperately need support and advice with problems they dare not share with anyone else. Up until now, many children had to try many times before they could get through to ChildLine. It makes me especially proud in our 25th anniversary year that we can say, for the first time in ChildLine's history, we can now answer almost every call the first time a child rings.
However, the West Midlands base urgently needs people who can commit to doing a regular mid morning or late evening shift.
Ziv Israeli, ChildLine services manager at the Birmingham base, added: "You don't need to have formal training or qualifications in counselling to apply as we will provide full training to all successful applicants.
Anyone over the age of 16 can volunteer for ChildLine and the NSPCC welcomes applications from all walks of life. Potential volunteers will initially need to commit to 50 hours for training and assessment. They will then be required to do a weekly shift for a minimum of 12 months.
For more information about becoming a volunteer counsellor at the West Midlands ChildLine, take a look at the current ChildLine volunteering opportunities.
If you can't spare the time to volunteer for ChildLine, why not take part in the Birmingham 'Climb for ChildLine' on 4 March at Fort Dunlop. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you a child?
Do you need to talk? Call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or visit us online.
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