As 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of ChildLine, Wayne Rooney and Esther Rantzen call for more volunteers
In 1986, the helpline service ChildLine received its first call. ChildLine quickly became the place children turned to when no one else was listening. As ChildLine, the NSPCC-run service, celebrates its 30th anniversary it warns of the pressures of modern life creating a generation of children sadly plagued by loneliness and low self-esteem.
Whilst the nature of calls may have changed over the thirty years, the abundance of calls and contact from children in desperate need of help never dwindles.
When ChildLine first launched, calls largely focused on pregnancy, bullying, physical and sexual abuse, and while thousands of children are still reporting these issues, in 2014/15 ChildLine conducted 35,244 counselling sessions addressing low self-esteem alone; with the most common new dangers being cyber-bullying, grooming, and self-harming.
A child making initial contact with ChildLine can be the first step to getting their life back on track, and the charity receives a call every 25 seconds, day and night.
In the last 30 years, ChildLine has been able to help over 4 million children. This has required great skill and commitment from volunteers and staff. But the work goes on and the demand for the service they provide is greater than ever. As the helpline celebrates its 30th anniversary, it is as important as ever that ChildLine recruits and trains even more volunteers to meet the demand.
ChildLine has always received high profile support from Princess Diana to legendary singer Tom Jones. Joining that list is England skipper, Wayne Rooney who is urging people to volunteer.
Watch our video with Childline founder, Dame Esther Rantzen and Adam Bennett, who was just ten years old when he contacted ChildLine about being badly bullied at school.