Nearly 800 children contacted Childline on Christmas Day

Young people reported feeling anxiety, grief and loneliness

The Childline service is a free, non-judgemental service for children and young people

The Childline service is a free, non-judgemental service for children and young people

 

Nearly 800 children and young people contacted Childline on Christmas Day.

Volunteers at Ireland’s 24-hour listening service for children yesterday received 793 calls, online contacts and texts from young people nationwide, a decrease from the 1,267 contacts received on Christmas Day 2018.

Childline said that many of the young people who contacted them described their feelings of anxiety, grief and loneliness on Christmas Day, as well as descriptions of substance abuse in the home.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s (ISPCC) chief executive John Church said that many children waking up on Christmas morning experienced a very different day from what they expected.

“Tensions can be heightened at this time of year and often children are left feeling frightened, or alone,” he said. “Our fantastic Childline volunteers made sure every child and young person had somewhere they could turn yesterday - whether they felt more comfortable making contact by phone, online chat or text.

“We are hugely grateful to each of those who give up their time with their own loved ones through the holiday season to be there for children who seek support.”

Childline is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any young person across the country up to the age of 18. Online chat and text services are also available between 10am and 4am.

The service is free, non-judgemental and is available to any young person who needs someone to talk to. Childline can be contacted at 1800 66 66 66 or by texting 50101.