NSPCC Volunteers continue to support thousands of children during COVID-19
At Griffiths & Armour we understand the importance of a volunteer workforce through designing risk management and insurance programmes for many of our clients who operate across the Charity sector. This week is #VolunteeringWeek, so to raise awareness of the fantastic work being done not only this week but in the 51 other weeks of the year, we spoke to one of our official charity partners, the NSPCC, to find out about the vital work of their volunteers and especially how their operations and services have had to adapt to COVID-19.
One particular service that has been affected is Childline, which is an integral part of the NSPCC’s service since its launch in 1986. The team at Childline, which is comprised mainly of volunteers, answer calls and have supported a staggering 4 million young people over the years, providing counselling through telephone conversations, online chats and e-mails. Each volunteer must commit a minimum of 44 hours of training before they are recognised as qualified to take responsibility for accepting calls and dealing with individual cases.
Beth Pochin, Corporate Partnerships Manager at NSPCC said:
“In the space of just a few weeks, we have all had to make radical adjustments to the way we live our lives. Families have been divided, people isolated, schools closed and routines disrupted. And this is having a devastating impact on our children. Every week since lockdown our service has delivered over 2,000 counselling sessions with children concerned about their mental health and emotional wellbeing – totalling nearly 17,000 over 7 weeks. For many young people, the difficult circumstances they were already facing, which can include abuse, domestic violence and difficult family relationships, have been exacerbated. We’ve adapted quickly to meet the challenges posed by social distancing and quarantine, but we are under substantial pressure to keep up with the demands on our service. We would like to say thank you to our volunteers, who during this challenging time, have shown extraordinary commitment, flexibility and understanding, helping us to continue to be here for children”.
Although Childline saw an alarming drop in it’s volunteer capacity in its first few weeks of lockdown due to childcare issues and quarantine measures, volunteer hours have steadily risen. On Easter Monday, volunteer counsellors delivered 741 sessions – the highest number on the bank holiday in the past three years despite social distancing measures reducing the number of counsellors per shift . Volunteers have continued to make a difference by peer-reviewing NSPCC’s research to ensure robust, high-quality findings, testing their website and e-learning and sharing their safeguarding experiences and expertise.
Despite the current challenges, NSPCC is still working tirelessly to provide support for vulnerable children who need it most. On 6th June, they are launching ‘The Big Climb’, a challenge which asks participants who climb as high as they choose and help raise money to support NSPCC.
To find out more about how you can get involved in The Big Climb initiative, click here.