Childline experiences a large increase in calls amid Covid-19 Crisis

Daniel Phelan

The number of children calling Childline has increased by over 20 per cent in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak as schools and childcare facilities have been closed.

Since the coronavirus became an official global crisis many people, children in particular, have been affected by the hysteria that has since ensued.

The current situation can be hard to comprehend for children leaving them scared and confused. The present restrictions also keep them indoors and around the house 24/7, leaving those children that live in abusive homes even more vulnerable and afraid.

The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) said it recorded a 26 per cent increase in users on its website from the 12th of March- the day that schools were closed- in comparison to previous weeks.

In a statement issued by the ISPCC, Chief Executive John Church spoke of the increase in calls that the charity based organisation has received and has encouraged people to keep supporting ISPCC Childline during this challenging time for children. “Imagine being a child at home right now, except their home is not a happy place. Tension fills the air,” he said.

Childline Director of Services, Caroline O’Sullivan, stated that if fundraising stops for a couple of months, the charity will face a serious challenge. “We have to rely on the public for 90 per cent of our income on an annual basis, so if we are unable to run events over the next couple of months, we know we are facing some very challenging times.”

Childline operates on a volunteer basis and relies heavily on donations to carry out their work. Since 1997, Childline has raised a lot of money by staging an annual concert in which the proceeds from ticket sales and donations go towards maintaining their service.

More recently, a host of artists have been fundraising on their behalf by having ‘live concerts’ on their Instagram account in which they encourage their followers to donate.

Some of the acts have included Dermot Kennedy, Hozier, Picture This and Niall Horan to name a few. The response to their efforts as well as public donations has raised an astounding €789,000 in the last two weeks.

Childline will continue to offer its services 24 hours a day, every day. However, to do so it is reliant on public support, especially in this critical time.

To donate to the ISPCC Childline, go to the following link:

Daniel Phelan

Image Credit: Childline