BULLYING continues to be one of the top five issues affecting youngsters who contact ChildLine, but it is just one of many that one Hucknall woman has discussed during her time volunteering for the charity.
Gillian Young (pictured), a 40-year-old solicitor from the town, took her first call for ChildLine on June 30 1997. Now, 15 years on, she looks back on the many calls she has received from children in need.
“When I first joined ChildLine all those years ago, I was nervous about taking my first few calls,” explained Gillian. “But the training I had made me feel confident to be able to listen to children and young people and to help them with their concerns.
“The supervisors are always on hand to help and advise and we always have time for a team briefing before and after shift which always helps.”
Gillian volunteers at ChildLine Nottingham but can now receive calls from youngsters nationwide as well as appeals for help online.
Advances in technology as well as new alternatives in communication, from mobiles to the Internet, have provided different ways for children to access the service but their concerns remain the same.
Many young people contact ChildLine to discuss family relationships, physical and sexual abuse and the facts of life — all of which Gillian has been involved in giving advice about during her long service.
Gillian continues: “I might have been volunteering for 15 years now, but I am still learning each time I come on shift. I enjoy being part of the team in Nottingham where we all support each other.”
ChildLine service manager, Gaynor Birnie said: “I’d like to thank Gillian for volunteering for ChildLine for 15 years. It is a great achievement and we couldn’t keep ChildLine open for children without all of our volunteers’ amazing commitment and dedication.”
Gillian feels rewarded through her volunteering and encourages others to consider it: “People should think about volunteering as it brings many rewards.”
The Nottingham base is holding an open day next Thursday (August 16) for anyone interested in volunteering. For details contact Cat Wynne on 0207 539 6016 or email email@example.com.