A CHARITY has made an urgent appeal for new volunteers from around North Wales to step forward and support vulnerable children.

NSPCC Cymru are looking for people to become Childline counsellors at its base in Prestatyn to support children with issues surrounding mental health, sexual abuse, bullying, and more.

The charity’s counselling service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for children and young people in need of support and advice thanks to the generous volunteers who take on shifts across Childline’s 12 bases, including two in Wales.

Currently, a child contacts Childline every 25 seconds, but at the moment due to a shortage in volunteers, the service is unable to respond to 1 in 3 children who get in contact.

Childline Services Manager, Debs Davis says: “Our Childline service can be life-changing for the children who contact us. It gives them a chance to speak out safely about whatever might be happening to them or worrying them.

“We’re appealing for more volunteer counsellors who are ready to be that listening and non-judgmental ear for a child so that we’re able to help even more young people with nowhere else to turn.”

“We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in volunteering their time with Childline, helping to give young people a voice when no-one else is listening.

“Common concerns include mental health, sexual abuse, exam stress, and bullying, but the reality is when the phone rings or the 1-2-1 kicks off you need to be ready to talk to a young person about anything. That is one of the things that makes volunteering so challenging but also so rewarding.”

Rhyl Journal:

Simon Shorrock joined the team as a switchboard volunteer last year and is now training to be a Childline counsellor.

He said: “I’ve always been interested in helping children and young people and volunteering with Childline in Prestatyn has made that possible.

“Not only has it enhanced my counselling and listening skills, I get so much from it on a personal level that it is something I look forward to doing every week.”

Volunteer roles at Childline Prestatyn include counsellors and switchboard volunteers and the base is in need of both to enable them to help more young people.

Successful applicants are asked to give a minimum of either two hours a week as a switchboard volunteer or 4.25 hours per week as a counsellor, and receive a comprehensive training package, which includes online and face-to-face training.

Anyone interested in attending a volunteer information meeting to find out more about what the role entails and how to apply can contact Volunteer Co-ordinator Sally King-Sheard on 01745 772101 or via email: Sally.King-Sheard@NSPCC.org.uk.

Anyone with any concerns about the welfare of a child can call the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit nspcc.org.uk for advice. Children can contact Childline on 0800 1111 or visit childline.org.uk for free 24/7, 365 days a year.