Could you help Childline listen to children?

Childline, Ireland’s national listening service for children and young people, is now recruiting for volunteers in Mayo.

An information session for anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering with the service will take place at the Childline unit in Castlebar on Wednesday, April 10 beginning at 6.30pm.

Each year, Childline answers over 360,000 contacts on average from children and young people who call, chat online, or text the service. Children contact Childline for a wide variety of reasons; they may feel lonely, anxious, scared or upset, or may simply wish to chat about their day. Childline offers a 24-hour free, confidential and non-judgmental listening service to every child and young person up to the age of 18 in Ireland.

Childline is staffed by a team of volunteers and staff members who train and supervise volunteers to ensure a consistent and high quality service to children and young people. Volunteers who help Childline do not require any prior experience or qualifications. They complete comprehensive training before answering their first contact and receive ongoing support and upskilling for the duration of their time as a volunteer.

An excellent team atmosphere and spirit of camaraderie and peer support prevails at each Childline office throughout the country. Childline volunteers complete weekly four-hour shifts and facilitate Childline’s 24-hour phone line, live text and webchat services. References are available to volunteers upon completion of commitment.

Head of Childline, Margie Roe, said: “Childline volunteers play a vital role in helping to ensure there is always someone there to listen, support and empower children and young people in Ireland when they seek a listening ear. The Childline training course is a comprehensive course which equips volunteers with the skills to deliver a quality service to children. All Childline volunteers are trained in active listening skills and child-centered practice and receive ongoing training and support throughout the year.”

Childline volunteer Lorraine said: “There is nothing more fulfilling than knowing you have helped a child. Without Childline, these children may not have anyone to listen to them, but Childline is always there.”

Childline volunteer Peter said: “When a child says thank you, I feel I have made a difference just by being there and listening to what they have to say. We should all have someone we feel we can talk to.”

If you would like more information on becoming a Childline volunteer and helping the service to listen to children and young people across Ireland, see ispcc.ie/volunteer-childline, email [email protected] or call (094 ) 9025254.

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