In the space of time it will take you to read this line, a child has called the Childline service to talk about something that is concerning him/her. Children contact Childline for many reasons. Some want to talk about their lives, others are worried, some children are afraid, or lonely. Their worries could include family issues, school concerns, relationship problems, sexuality, abuse, depression, or mental health concerns.
They just want someone to listen to them, to not judge them, to give them the space to talk. Childline is the only 24-hour listening service which seeks to support and empower children and young people in Ireland. Last year, Childline had conversations with some 420,000 children and young people who contacted the service for help and advice with wide-ranging serious issues, including abuse, violence, exploitation, addiction, and suicide. That is an astounding 1,150 contacts by children a day, on issues that no child should encounter. But, it needs help to answer those calls.
The ISPCC Childline office in Mayo is currently looking to recruit volunteers who have a genuine interest in wanting to talk, listen, and help children and young people. Since 2009, the Childline office in Mayo has provided a phone, text, and web-based listening service for children and young people up to the age of 18. Currently, there are 22 volunteers who operate the service weekly from Mayo, engaging with children and young people from all over Ireland.
ISPCC Childline volunteer training will take place in October 2016, running over weekends or evenings, depending on availability of applicants. Trainee volunteers will be prepared and supported to engage with children and young people who contact the services. Following initial training, they ask that volunteers complete one four-hour shift each week where each volunteer will be supported by volunteer team members and staff. If you are looking for a volunteering opportunity that is child-centred and has a team support element, this could be the volunteering choice for you.
You are welcome to attend the volunteer recruitment event on Saturday September 17 at the ISPCC offices, Unit 14C, N5 Business Park, Castlebar, from 11am to 4pm to hear more about the service.