Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ISPCC Annual Christmas Appeal Launches

Last Christmas, 40% of children’s calls unanswered due to severe lack of resources.

As I've gotten older I've realised that there are some things in the world that are in excusable. Some things that should never be allowed to happen. Cruelty to children is top of the list. Thankfully here in Ireland we have a huge number of people who dedicate their lives to helping those who are incapable of helping themselves. People who work for a number of organisations trying to do the right thing. The ISPCC is such an organisation.

Unfortunately, last year, due to a lack of funds, ISPCC was unable to answer almost 40% of calls made to its Childline service on Christmas Day. What's even more tragic is that in the last 12 months the demand on the service has only increased.

So yesterday the ISPCC launched their annual Christmas appeal to raise the vital funds necessary to ensure that thousands more children can access the services they need. The ISPCC relies on the Irish public for the vast majority of its funding, and while we as a nation are great givers, in the approach to Christmas we need to give more. As the saying goes, no gift is too small to make a difference.

Speaking at the launch of their Christmas appeal today, Ashley Balbirnie, CEO of the ISPCC said; “I know many Irish people are experiencing tough times with the ongoing recession but we must be mindful of those who are worse off than us and in particular children who are in abusive situations, alone and calling for help. We need to think about what is important to us at Christmas and how we can help others who truly need support. Throughout the Christmas period we see an increase in calls from children seeking help and it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of Christmas and forget about those less fortunate. Christmas is a time for giving and a time for sharing, donations to the ISPCC are essential to support our efforts to help these defenceless children.”

The ISPCC has already received over 665k calls for assistance this year from children all over Ireland. That's an increase of 35k calls over this time last year. With many families hit hard by the economic downturn, those experiencing financial worries is only going to be worse then last year. All the additional stress and tension may inadvertently find itself taken out on children.

“Ireland is going through a challenging and turbulent time, with many people finding themselves out of work or experiencing a reduction in pay or hours of work. It’s not easy and it can be a hugely stressful time for people, particularly with the added financial pressures of Christmas. Children are not immune to such family tensions and worries, and for many children this stress can impact negatively on their own well being.” Balbirnie concluded.

The ISPCC are calling on people to make a donation now and make Christmas a happier time for children in need. Donations can be made through the ISPCC website www.ispcc.ie, by calling 1850 50 40 50, or by purchasing an ISPCC ‘Holly badge’, available nationwide for €2 through ISPCC street collections and shopping centres in the run up to Christmas. What’s more, the ISPCC offers a range of low-cost Christmas cards and gifts with a difference in their online Christmas shop.

For information on ways to support the ISPCC this Christmas, please log onto www.ispcc.ie.

ISPCC Childline Service
The ISPCC Childline service is available 24/7 on 1800 66 66 66. Support for young people can be accessed through the Childline website on www.childline.ie. The ISPCC offers a range of face to face, telephone and web based supports for young people and parents through its ChildFocus and TeenFocus services. For details of services in your area please contact the ISPCC on 01 676 7960 or view the ISPCC website www.ispcc.ie.

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