Local Childline appeal for volunteers

CHILDLINE in Limerick has sent out an urgent request for more volunteers to deal with the ever increasing number of calls being put through to their helpline.

It emerged this week that Childline Ireland experienced an 11% increase in calls relating to abuse and welfare of children in 2009, and want further volunteers to cope, as 40% of calls remain unanswered.

Information evenings on volunteering will be held throughout August at the ISPCC premises on 115 O’Connell Street.

The Limerick branch provides the Childline and Teenfocus services which supports children by valuing, respecting and empowering them to make real change in their lives.

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Approximately 17,000 calls are received by Childline every week, and over 1,000 of these are answered by Limerick volunteers.

Last year, the number of referrals to support services doubled.

However, the organisation is aiming to build on the 60% of calls which are currently being answered in the remainder of 2010, and are hoping for an increase in volunteers to help achieve this goal.

ISPCC volunteers work closely with young people and their families around these and other issues.

Local staff and volunteers continue to advocate for the rights of all children nationally and closer to home in conjunction with the services they provide to young people.

The Teenfocus service provides a mentoring and counselling service to youths aged 13 to 18 in the city and county who are at risk of the misuse of drugs and alcohol, or are experiencing challenges at home, in school or finding it hard to cope.

The ISPCC is calling for a ban on all physical punishment of children, welcoming the research carried out on behalf of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Parenting Styles and Discipline: OMCYA June 2010).

Also, the society believes that there is huge potential to work with parents to develop their skills further, and to strengthen parental understanding of, and use of, non-aggressive parenting strategies.

ISPCC’s services in Limerick would not be possible without the continued commitment from their team of dedicated volunteers.

Volunteers need no previous experience as full training and support is provided. However, a genuine commitment to supporting children and young people and the ability to listen with warmth, patience and an open mind are essential.

An information evening will be held on Monday August 9 at 6.30pm at 115 O’Connell Street.

Contact 061 400077 for more information.