Charities to Lend An Ear during the Christmas Season

By Amy Taylor on December 24, 2011

The festive season is upon us. It is a time of making merry and coming together as family and friends to celebrate. However, there is also a dark side to this season. Luckily, three charities, namely Samaritans, ChildLine and Lifeline are on standby to deal with almost 10,000 calls for help during the Christmas season. These three services will have people working for them during the holidays, ensuring that there is someone ready to listen to anyone who is in need.

Samaritans, which until nine years ago was known as The Samaritans, is a registered charity which aims at giving emotional support to people who are emotionally distressed or people who are suicidal. They cover the UK and Ireland, largely via their phone helpline.

Suzanne Costello, the director of Samaritans Ireland, points out that although Christmas is a joyous time, there are some people who will be very lonely and isolated during this season. This is where the three charities come in. For example, Fergus Camiskey, the clinical director of Lifeline reveals that people who call Lifeline will receive immediate assessment and support throughout the Christmas period. They will be able to speak to Lifeline’s qualified counsellors and if need be, they can get up to six face-to-face counselling session from a location that is near their homes.

Lifeline is a registered charity that was established in 1971 and deals mostly with issues relating to alcohol and drug abuse. Its mission is to work with people in order to reduce harm and prevent it. It also seeks to encourage recovery. It aims to give alcohol and drug services that put people first and achieve change in people’s lives. Some of the services that Lifeline provides include day programmes, prison initiatives, services for young people, harm minimization and recovery/peer mentoring.

 If you are the parent of young children or teenagers or, if you are a young person yourself, you will be happy to know that ChildLine will be offering their services over the Christmas period. Elaine Chalmers of ChildLine underlines the fact that each year, ChildLine assists numerous children and teenagers to deal with different types of problems from abuse, family issues and even bullying.

ChildLine is also a registered charity under the NSPCC. The NSPCC does many activities in its attempt to achieve its vision. Some of the activities include campaigning to change the law, offering advice for adults and of course, providing ChildLine.

Learn more about this topic on UTV News. 

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