White Hat’s One Unforgettable Day- stories from the front line

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This year White Hat’s One Unforgettable Day campaign raised £70,718 and successfully funded Childline for a whole day- 29 January 2021. Read on to hear about the life changing impact that Childline had during those 24 hours.

29 January 2021 is now a day that 650 children will never forget. It was a day where children were able to talk to us about whatever they needed to, where 41% talked to us about mental health, 10% about suicidal thoughts and feelings and 9% about family relationships. It was a day where 5, 488 young people viewed the Childline website Information and advice pages, with the most popular page being Your rights and there were 5, 144 Message Board pageviews. It was a day where children from all walks of life spoke up, where 76% were girls, 20% were boys, and 3% were Transgender, and where the majority were 12-15 year-olds.

For many children reaching out to Childline, 29 January 2021 became the day they found a listening ear, saw a way forward and took back control.

Our volunteers are the beating heart of what we do at the NSPCC, and we hope these first-hand experiences of Childline counsellors demonstrate the power of funding this vital service:

“I had a 1-to-1 chat with a 15 year-old girl was struggling with her mental health. She revealed this was mostly due to the excessive workloads that her teachers had set her since the latest lockdown. She complained this extra work had been eating into her free time and it had left her feeling stressed and panicked. The girl told me how she’d wanted to bring this up with her form tutor, but didn’t know how and they worried they wouldn’t be taken seriously. I reflected how well this girl had done to express themselves with Childline already, and suggested she might want to transfer some of these feelings in an email to her teacher. She agreed this was a good idea and so for the rest of the chat we began crafting a message together” A Childline counsellor

“I had a phone call with a 13 year-old girl, who was feeling anxious and upset about the pandemic. She told me she’d heard stories of rising Covid cases in the UK, and couldn’t help fearing for her loved ones’ safety, particularly her grandparents who she was missing very much. She hadn’t spoken out about her feelings, she told me, as she didn’t want anyone to worry about her. I praised the young person for speaking out to Childline and reminded her that she was not alone. Together, we explored the Calm Zone section on the Childline website and identified some things she could do to manage her anxious feelings, like breathing or distraction exercises – we even practiced one of these exercises on the call. Finally, I signposted the young person to our message boards, where other children and young people have been sharing their experiences of the pandemic. She agreed to take a look after our call and thanked me for my time”. A Childline counsellor

“I had a 1-to-1 chat with a 13 year-old girl who told me she was being bullied online by several girls from her school. She said these girls had added her to a group chat and made fun of her appearance – they’d called her ‘emo’, ‘weird’ and ‘depressed’. One of the girls even made a meme about her and posted it on social media. The girl revealed that they’d since managed to get the meme removed, but that it was too late –  the ‘damage had already been done’. She told me how the experience had left her feeling confused, humiliated and isolated, even more so now that schools were shut. Her biggest worry, she told me, was that the bullying might continue in person once schools re-opened. I reflected that no one deserved to be treated this way, and that they had done the right thing in speaking out about this. I asked her what it had felt like to share their story with Childline, and she said it ‘felt like someone cared for me and was interested in my life’. She said it had given her the courage to speak with her mentor during her next online session, and she agreed to come back and let us know how this goes” A Childline counsellor

The White Hat Ball 2022 hopes to raise even more money for Childline. The Ball will take place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London on Friday 29th January 2022.

To find out more please email Robyn Stevenson at Robyn.Stevenson@NSPCC.org.uk

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