The NSPCC wouldn’t be able to run Childline without the amazing efforts of Childline volunteers. We spoke to Neil, a volunteer counsellor from Birmingham, about his experience.
When Neil signed up to be a Childline volunteer, he never dreamt he’d still be doing it nearly 12 years later. “It’s taught me a lot about the kind of person I am,” he says. “And I really think in many ways it’s made me a better one.” He’s just one of hundreds of trained volunteers who provide confidential support to children day and night, seven days a week. Shifts can be difficult, whether taking calls or having private web chats, but they’re always rewarding: “We can help give children hope, a feeling of being listened to,” says Neil.
The pandemic changed life and routines for young people beyond all recognition, and for those children who don’t feel comfortable or safe within their own homes, things have been particularly difficult. “We’ve found that many young people have been calling us feeling sad and overwhelmed, like they’ve lost an element of control,” says Neil.
All volunteers receive thorough training, and are supported before, during and after every shift. “We volunteers come from all walks of life, but we all share a common goal: to do the best for young people,” says Neil. Through our pledge to raise a further £1 million for Childline, we can help the NSPCC recruit and train 937 more volunteers. “This money will make an incredible difference,” Neil says, “From providing online support and resources, to supporting 77,000 counselling sessions, Lidl’s donation will help us be there for every child who needs us.”
To find out more about becoming a Childline counsellor, click here
In 2020 we joined The Rainbow Trail to support children’s mental and emotional health. We displayed special billboards at stores across the country, featuring rainbow pictures submitted to us from talented Lidl’uns.
Rainbows send a message of hope at a time when things may be tougher for children and young people suffering with their mental and emotional health, and home is not a safe place for every child. We wanted to let children know that the NSPCC’s Childline service is still there for them.
We’ve committed to raising £2 million over 2 years to support the NSPCC’s vital Childline service. To make a donation to help Childline to be there for children, just click here.
Photography by Alex Grace.