Halton residents urged to support children's lifeline charity this Christmas

CHRISTMAS is a magical time of year for most children across Halton, but sadly there are some for whom it can be an incredibly difficult and lonely time.

The latest ChildLine figures show the free, confidential, 24-hour helpline and online service provided by the NSPCC, is expecting thousands of calls over the festive season.

In December last year, ChildLine bases across the North West, in Liverpool and Manchester, received 540 contacts about family relationship issues, which could be anything from worries relating to parents separating to arguments with family members and wanting to leave home or go into care.

Trained volunteers carried out 446 counselling sessions about bullying and online bullying, and saw a worrying trend towards children contacting the service with concerns that posed a serious risk to their lives, including 312 about suicide and 418 about and self-harm.

Christine Mellor, ChildLine area manager for the north west, said: “Our ChildLine volunteers 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 have nowhere else to turn.

“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. Just £4 will help us answer a call this Christmas.”

ChildLine provides a lifeline for thousands of children at Christmas. To ensure that trained counsellors can continue to listen and offer help, advice and support to children and young people who need to talk, even on Christmas Day, the NSPCC has launched its Christmas Call for Help Appeal.

Visit www.nspcc.org.uk or text HOPE to 70744 to donate £4 and help answer a call to ChildLine this Christmas.

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