The charity volunteers giving up their Christmas Day to help kids in crisis

Cropchildline counsellor laura jukes from the glasgow base

Christmas is a particularly difficult time for some young people and the service relies on its volunteers to support children

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12th December 2018 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

A team of dedicated Childline volunteers will be giving up their Christmas Day to ensure children have the vital support they need over the festive period.

The volunteers in the Glasgow and Aberdeen bases will run the phoneline and the emails around the clock to make sure children across the country don’t feel alone this Christmas.

Childline, which is free and confidential, carries out tens of thousands of counselling sessions every year with children contacting them for help with issues ranging from family problems, neglect or bullying to self-harm, suicide or sexual abuse.

At the moment the service can only answer three out of four contacts from children and young people who get in touch. 

Christmas is a particularly difficult time for some young people and the service relies on its volunteers to support children.

Laura Jukes, 21, is a Childline counsellor at the Glasgow base and has recently received a saltire award for her services to volunteering.

She said: “Christmas can be a difficult time for many children and young people for numerous reasons. Some children may not have a family to spend Christmas with or there may be problems going on at home or it may be that a child is struggling with the loss of a loved one.

“Christmas is also often associated with food which can be difficult for those struggling with eating disorders.

“Alcohol is often involved in Christmas as well which can be difficult for those who have a family member or a family friend who is a problem drinker and or who may become abusive.

“These are among many reasons why Christmas can be difficult and it is therefore extremely important that every single child and young person knows that they do not need to go through anything on their own.”

Lisa Simons, 49, a volunteer in the Aberdeen base will also be working on Christmas Day which is also the same day as her son’s birthday.

Lisa, who began volunteering in January 2017, said: “I really love Christmas and I have had so many great Christmases with my family. It’s also my eldest son’s 19th birthday but he has urged me to work at Childline to help children who need someone to talk to. 

“I usually do a shift on a Tuesday and when I realised this would be Christmas Day, I knew I should work at Childline.

“I am really glad my family are happy for me to do my shift – I would hate for them to feel like I was leaving. We will have a special family celebration after my shift finishes.”

Last year the Glasgow base carried out 1,048 counselling sessions and the Aberdeen base completed 447 counselling sessions with children contacting them from across the UK during the 12 days of Christmas – 24 December 2017 until 4 January 2018.

More than 8,000 children and young people in total contacted Childline bases across the UK during the same period.

The top concern was mental and emotion health and family relationships.

If you are interested in volunteering with Childline click here.

Children can contact Childline 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 1111.