Childline appeals for Mansfield and Ashfield folk to volunteer

A CONFIDENTIAL counselling service for children and young people is urging volunteers from Mansfield and Ashfeld to step forward.

ChildLine Nottingham, which is operated by the NSPCC, is a 24-hour service allowing children to discuss any issue causing them distress.

The service gave 17,063 counselling sessions on the phone or online last year but now needs 50 more volunteers across the East Midlands to ensure calls are answered.

Volunteers are especially needed for Saturday shifts at the Nottingham base and full training will be given.

ChildLine Nottingham’s volunteer co-ordinator Cat Wynne said: “If a child plucks up the courage to call or contact us online and there is not someone available to take the call, then they can feel even more alone and isolated.

“So, we desperately need more volunteers to be able to speak to more children.”

Carol, from Mansfield, is one of 150 volunteers who answer calls at the ChildLine base in Nottingham.

“I started volunteering over a year ago as I’d heard about the good work of ChildLine and it fitted in well with my work,” she said.

“I was nervous before taking my first call as I didn’t know what to expect but the training you receive is fantastic so I did feel prepared and there are always qualified staff on hand to call on if you need support with difficult calls.

“One of the most difficult things is when a young person calls if they are feeling suicidal. But knowing that they leave the call feeling more positive about the situation makes it all worthwhile.

“I would encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering for ChildLine to find out more as the service makes such a difference to young people’s lives.”

For more information about becoming a volunteer for ChildLine Nottingham, call Cat Wynne on 0207 539 6016.