There is amazing work being done to help children by volunteers at the ChildLine base in Prestatyn. That’s the view of Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd after he was told that volunteers there undertook 21,000 counselling sessions with children and young people last year.
The Prestatyn base is one of 12 bases across the UK that deals with calls from children on a wide range of matters. Abuse remains one of the most common issues, along with family relationships, low self-esteem, bullying and online bullying. Across the UK more than 2,000 children a day are calling ChildLine across the UK.
Llyr Gruffydd visited the Prestatyn centre, which is run by the NSPCC as part of its wider work with children in Wales: “I think many people would be astounded at the size of the operation, which is tucked away at the end of a quiet road. It’s astounding that the call centre, which is staffed by local volunteers under professional supervision, is handling so many calls when it’s on shift from across the UK. It was a real eye-opener and emphasises how great the demand for these services is.”
Since its launch 30 years ago, four million children have been supported by ChildLine and more than a quarter of a million in north Wales alone.
Head of NSPCC Cymru / Wales, Des Mannion, said:
“Continued interest in the invaluable work of ChildLine in Prestatyn is hugely welcome and we’re pleased to be able to welcome a local Assembly Member.
“The helpline’s north Wales base has helped hundreds of thousands of children since its launch and we’re working extremely hard to ensure that support continues.
“This means more time – volunteers – and vital funds. 2016 is a big year for ChildLine – across the UK – and it’s thanks to our amazing supporters and volunteers that the last 30 years has been possible.”
Mr Gruffudd added: ‘If anyone is interested in supporting or volunteering at ChildLine in Prestatyn look for more information on the NSPCC website and then contact the Prestatyn ChildLine office on 01745 772101