A CHILD contacted counsellors in Londonderry over Christmas because she was afraid to tell her mother she was pregnant - she was one of 639 children counselled from bases in Londonderry and Belfast over the festive period.
More contacts took place online than by phone and counsellors at ChildLine bases in Belfast and Foyle counselled 639 children over a 12 day period.
The main reason why children accessed support was for issues relating to their emotional wellbeing and family relationships. Other top reasons included bullying and self-harm.
One young person who contacted ChildLine in Foyle said: “I went to my GP and they confirmed I am pregnant and I don’t know how to tell my Mum.
“She has always said that I shouldn’t have children young but I have been with my boyfriend a while and we both want this baby. What do I do?”
Sharon Bayliss from ChildLine Northern Ireland said: “ChildLine is a vital lifeline for thousands of young people who desperately need support and advice - often on very complex and sensitive issues.
“Christmas can be a particularly difficult for vulnerable young people and a general lack of services and support during this time can make everything feel more difficult to resolve.
“None of this work with children and young people would be possible without the dedication of our trained volunteer counsellors who work tirelessly around the clock to ensure that the most vulnerable young people can get the safe and trusted support they need.”
The ChildLine bases in Belfast and Foyle are currently recruiting volunteers. For more information please call 0870 336 2945 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.