The NSPCC are still here for children- here’s how they’ve been adapting during the pandemic
With schools closed for long periods and many children trapped in unsafe homes, lockdown has been particularly challenging for children. The NSPCC have responded rapidly, launching the Still Here for Children emergency appeal to raise awareness and funds for Childline, as well as adapting their frontline services to help as many children as possible during the pandemic. Thousands of children have reached out to Childline during the pandemic. The adaptions we’ve made to delivery mean that we haven’t seen a dip in our response rates, and have been able to hold around 60,000 counselling sessions since lockdown began.
However, we have seen a worrying change in the nature of concerns and the age of children we have supported – with over half of all conversations related to mental and emotional health, including more children under 11 contacting us on this subject.
A socially distanced Childline
Funds raised by the Still Here for Children campaign have been used to equip Childline volunteer counsellors to answer calls remotely by purchasing headsets and laptops, as well as recruiting new volunteers and re-training volunteers from other NSPCC frontline services.
One recent call to Childline from an 18-year-old girl highlights the importance of the service during the pandemic:
“I am scared about the Coronavirus. I’m finding it hard to cope at the moment and it feels like it’s the end of the world. When I was little I developed OCD and had been to therapy which has helped me to deal with the stress better. However, the Coronavirus has triggered it again and I’m really struggling, I don’t know what to do. Please help.”
Click here to listen to volunteer counsellor Rachel’s experience of answering urgent calls to Childline during lockdown.
Speak Out Stay Safe with Ant and Dec
With social distancing in place, the NSPCC’s Speak out Stay Safe programme of school assemblies has been on hold since March. As some schools begin to return, on Friday 5th June Ant and Dec and David Walliams helped to deliver a very special virtual school assembly with Buddy the mascot! The assembly was streamed online to schools across the country and encouraged children to Speak out and Stay Safe by speaking to a trusted adult or Childline about problems and anxieties they may be experiencing.
Support the NSPCC during the biggest challenge we have faced. Make a donation to the Still Here for Children campaign, or join us at our star studded White Hat Ball gala in January 2021.
Contact Lilly.OBrien@NSPCC.org.uk for more information.