Counsellors at Nottingham Childline have provided more than half a million sessions to children across the country since the base opened in 1988.
This week, this vital NSPCC-run service based in Jenny Farr House, devoted an evening of celebrations to honour its team of volunteers who supported hundreds of thousands of children and young people over the years.
The celebratory event, which was held at Highfields Fire Station, included guest speakers, a quiz and nibbles.
Makinder Chahal, who has volunteered with Childline since 2018, said: “The celebration event was like a family party. At Nottingham Childline, we have a great sense of community. It was really nice to see everyone outside our often rather pressurised environment, and to show appreciation for all the hard work of all staff and volunteers.
“Young people will contact us with challenges when they have nobody else to turn to. Often, we are providing help and guidance as they navigate through life and whether we’re contacted via the helpline or by online chats, we will always be there when children need us.”
In the last year, Nottingham Childline delivered 13,171 counselling sessions to children and young people. The top five concerns from children and young people nationwide have been about mental and emotional health; suicidal thoughts and feelings; family relationships; self-harm; sex, relationships and puberty.
Kelly Saunders, Nottingham Childline Team Manager, said: “The volunteer celebration event was a huge success, and it was great to see both the volunteers and staff enjoying themselves. The volunteers are such an inspiring group of people and deserve recognition for their commitment to supporting young people. It was important for us to show our appreciation to our volunteers who have given their time and stuck with us throughout many challenges, especially those presented by the pandemic.
“We ask a lot of our volunteers and are under no illusion that without their support and dedication we could not deliver the Childline service.”
To ensure this vital service can continue to be there for every child, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the base needs more people to become volunteer counsellors.
If you can commit to a regular four-and-a-half-hour shift, once a week, and have an empathetic and non-judgemental outlook, the service would love to hear from you.
For more information about volunteering for Nottingham Childline, please email Max [email protected] Interested applicants can apply by visiting the NSPCC website.