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NSPCC and ChildLine Volunteers Tell You About Their Greatest Moments

"I am still here, still alive!"

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©2016 NSPCC. Photography by Jon Challicom. The adult pictured is a volunteer.

"One night a young person came through on a voice call, telling me how scared she felt because she was in labour and a lot of pain, and she was alone in the house. I managed to make her calm down by talking through breathing techniques with her.

"Her real fear was she would not love her baby, which I couldn't promise that she would. She thanked me at the end because I had listened and made her feel calm by being supportive and honest. She came back on a few weeks later, and she was totally in love with her new baby."

—ChildLine volunteer counsellor, Liverpool

©2016 NSPCC. Photography by Jon Challicom. The adult pictured is a volunteer.

"Over the last 30 years I have helped many suicidal young people who have called ChildLine. Nothing is as rewarding as knowing that they are safe and well. It is extra special when they come back to ChildLine and leave a message thanking us for helping them when they were at their lowest ebb.

"One young lady, who was pregnant and suicidal when she first called, came back a year later to tell me she had named her son Colin after me."

—ChildLine volunteer counsellor, Birmingham

©2016 NSPCC. Photography by Jon Challicom. The adult pictured is a volunteer.

"It's a great moment every time I am on my shift and a child or young person says, 'The tight feeling in my chest has gone' or 'I'm so glad I brought myself to talk to ChildLine.'

"Some remain in my mind. A girl who wanted to kill herself had, by the end of the call, stopped crying. She calmed down and said that ChildLine turned her around.

"'I am still here now, still alive!'"

—ChildLine volunteer counsellor, Prestatyn

©2016 NSPCC. Photography by Jon Osborne. The children pictured are models. The adult pictured is a volunteer.

"At the end of a workshop with Year 6 pupils, I was approached by three girls wanting to speak to me privately. It transpired one of them was being bullied by a bigger girl and was wondering if I would help. After briefly discussing her situation, I persuaded her to speak to a teacher and offered to help start the conversation. We did this and I left her in capable hands, with a polite 'thank you' ringing in my ears. It was immensely satisfying to see that our message about speaking out had got through so quickly."

—NSPCC Schools Service Volunteer, Greater Manchester, North West

©2016 NSPCC. Photography by Jon Osborne. The children pictured are models.

“One memorable moment from my NSPCC Schools Service experiences is when, during the discussion on neglect, one boy put up his hand and announced, 'I was neglected.' I wondered what was coming next.

"He then proceeded to tell the class, in some detail, the story of how his parents had neglected him but he had been adopted and was now part of a new, loving family. Prior to this, only the head teacher was aware of his history. It was lovely that he felt ready to share his story with us all."

— NSPCC Schools Service volunteer, Nottingham

©2016 NSPCC. Photography by Jon Osborne. The adult pictured is a volunteer. The children pictured are models.

"As a volunteer for the NSPCC Schools Service, we talk about staying safe and look for signs of children who feel unsafe. We ask children to think about situations where they feel safe.

"A student was having difficulty answering. I asked about people she feels safe with, and she said, 'I don't feel safe with my mum. She shouts at me and makes me do things I don't want to do.' We talked about this and I was able to share the conversation with the school. If we had not been there she may not have opened up."

—NSPCC Schools Service volunteer, Essex

©2016 NSPCC. Photography by Jon Challicom. The adult pictured is a volunteer.

"There have been many challenging and rewarding experiences with ChildLine, however one conversation with a terminally ill teenage girl always stays with me. She called to talk about two things: a storyline in Coronation Street and her friend's haircut. Everyone around her was focused on her cancer and how to keep her comfortable – she just wanted a normal chat about everyday stuff on her mind.

"As we said goodbye, she thanked me for listening, and all I could think of was how grateful I was to ChildLine for the opportunity to share that time with very a special young person."

—ChildLine volunteer counsellor, Belfast

©2016 NSPCC. Photography by Jon Challicom. The adult pictured is a volunteer.

“Being offered a place on the ChildLine Counsellor training programme was very special. It was clear from the introductory information that the training would be concise and in-depth. Although a little daunting, the first couple of sessions showed how carefully each subject is covered, and each trainee is supported with debriefings. The importance of listening and being empathic becomes paramount, providing the building bricks to develop skills in accepting, valuing, and allowing children and young people to express their thoughts and feelings. The supervision and mentorship, both in the classroom and practical skills, were exemplary.

"So to have passed each assessment and been given my Counsellors Badge, I felt proud and privileged – my greatest moment!"

–ChildLine counsellor, Prestatyn

NSPCC is registered charity 216401 in England and Wales and SC037717 in Scotland.

NSPCC and ChildLine volunteers protect children’s lives everyday. Join us and help us be there for every child, volunteer today.