a positive personal impact
ChildLine has just released figures that show that it’s not just children who benefit, volunteers get more than they bargained for as a result of volunteering.
Some 77.2% stated an increase in confidence in their abilities and 64.9% said they’ve had an increase in their own sense of self-esteem. Over half (54.8%), have seen an increase in their emotional wellbeing.
The findings are being announced by ChildLine as it launches its New Year’s Resolution campaign, which is asking for members of the public locally to make a resolution that counts and offer their time to support children and young people who desperately need their help.
People in Ballymena and the wider County Antrim can volunteer to support in two different ways; either at a ChildLine counselling base in Belfast or Foyle or as a Schools Service volunteer in primary schools across the area.
ChildLine currently has almost 170 volunteers at the Northern Ireland counselling bases who give their time to listen and offer free, confidential, 24 hour help and support to children and young people who need to talk. But more are needed to help answer every child’s cry for help
As well as the counselling service, ChildLine also offers a pioneering new Schools Service, which aims to be in a position to visit every primary school in Northern Ireland once every two years by 2016, to talk to children aged 9-11 about abuse, how to protect themselves and where to get help if they need it.
The Schools Service already has 80 volunteers but in order to protect a generation of children, one primary school at a time, ChildLine needs to recruit more people to help.
With stories of child abuse, exploitation and systematic child protection failures continuing to lead the news agenda, the service continues to be a vital lifeline for some children and young people.
The ChildLine Annual Review, due to be published early in the New Year, is likely to reinforce this with marked increases in counselling sessions around some high risk issues during the last year.
New volunteers can sign up in two ways:
As a ChildLine School Service volunteer; they will spend up to half a day per week helping support the ambitious new programme which aims to prevent abuse before it starts by equipping children in every primary school, in every community of the UK, with the knowledge they need to act with confidence if they fear abuse.
Using a series of age-appropriate assemblies and interactive workshops, trained volunteers encourage children to recognise situations where they may need help and show them ways of accessing support.
The Service has already visited 550 children in 10 schools across Antrim alone, and has proved incredibly popular with parents and teachers1. 99 per cent of schools across the UK who provided feedback in 2012/13 claimed that their pupils’ knowledge of child abuse and bullying was enhanced as a result, whilst 91 per cent stated that their pupils were now more aware of who to talk to if they felt unsafe.
As a ChildLine helpline volunteer; they will spend four plus hours per week helping to offer children and young people aged 18 and under, confidential advice and support via the 24 hour telephone helpline or online, using the increasingly popular 1-2-1 chat and email service.
New volunteers receive expert ChildLine training and on-going support to help them gain valuable skills in communicating with children.
Shaun Friel, ChildLine Schools Service Manager for Northern Ireland said: “We’ve known that volunteering can be extremely rewarding, with many of our volunteers feeling a great sense of satisfaction that they’re making a difference to young people’s lives.”
For further information and details on how to apply, please go to For further information and details on how to apply, please go to www.nspcc.org.uk/childlinevolunteer.