Call for Help appeal launches to support ChildLine over Christmas

ChildLine counselled one child every 4 minutes last Christmas Day

Christmas should be a magical time for children. The hustle and bustle of a home full of friends and family. The excitement of tearing into presents. But for some, it's a time when they feel more alone than ever, when they're struggling to cope with being ignored, bullied and abused. That's why we've launched our Call for Help appeal – aiming to raise £930,000 to support our ChildLine service over Christmas.

New figures released today show that in December last year, ChildLine counsellors carried out almost 23,000 counselling sessions with young people.

What did young people contact us about?

Children from across the UK and Channel Islands spoke to our counsellors about a huge range of subjects in December last year. These included:


  • Family relationship issues
  • The most common reason children got in touch - 13 per cent of all counselling sessions. This included worries relating to parents separating, arguments with family members and wanting to leave home. 
  • Feeling suicidal
  • Over 1,600 children and young people contacted ChildLine about this – a worrying 38 per cent increase compared to December 2012.
  • Low self-esteem and unhappiness
  • There was a 36 per cent increase in counselling sessions about this.
  • Feelings of loneliness, isolation or exclusion
  • Children mentioned feeling this way in 776 counselling sessions.

Last Christmas Day we spoke to a child every four minutes

Tragically, there was a 24 per cent increase in the number of counselling sessions on Christmas Day last year compared to 2012. This means that, on average, our ChildLine counsellors spoke to one child every four minutes.

We are launching our Call for Help appeal to ensure that ChildLine is able to offer support and hope to the thousands of children and young people across the UK and Channel Islands expected to make contact this December.

Worried about a child?

Contact our trained helpline counsellors for help, advice and support.

0808 800 5000

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Director of ChildLine, Peter Liver, said:
"This year, hundreds of ChildLine counsellors will be spending Christmas Day not with their families, but seeing the other side of the festive season. We’ll be talking to children and young people for whom Christmas can be a truly miserable time, listening to them, providing advice and support and being there for them when they can’t talk to anyone else about what they’re going through.

"It's no exaggeration to say that ChildLine really could be the difference between life and death for some children this Christmas. Please help us be there when they need us most – a donation of just £4 could mean that a child will hear a voice at the end of the phone that lets them know they're not alone."

Help us be there for children like Craig this Christmas

Our ChildLine service provides a lifeline for thousands of children at Christmas. The free, confidential, 24-hour helpline and online service will be open throughout the festive season for children and young people who need to talk - even on Christmas Day.

But we need funding and support to ensure that trained ChildLine counsellors can continue to listen and offer help, advice and support to children and young people, whatever their worry.

Young schoolgirl looking direct to camera

Make a donation

We've helped almost 1.8 million children to recognise the signs of abuse and know to speak out if they're worried. Donate today and help us reach one more child.

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Names and identifying features have been changed to protect identity. Photographs have been posed by models.