♡ Childline is a free, private and confidential service offering support for any young person under the age of 19 in the UK, no matter how big or small their worries may be. It is also one of the best things I have ever been a part of in my life. ♡
Psychology has been a big part of my life for many years now. I studied it in my own time, at A Level and now at University. I have had dreams of achieving my doctorate ever since my love for the subject began. Part of being a psychologist is that you can never know anything; we theorise, we practice, but we can never know. But one thing I know for sure is that we are all put into this world for our own unique reasons; and I truly believe my reason is to help people. This is one of the main reasons that inspired me to become a Childline Counsellor.
A Typical Childline Shift
I like to help out as much as I can, however my typical Childine shift is every Monday morning and it is the best way to begin the week. There is no way to describe a “typical” shift because every shift is so incredibly different; but I can say that every single shift starts in the most warm and welcoming way. I volunteer in Nottingham and I happened to start at the same time we moved into the brand new base, and it is beautiful. The outside of the base is a gorgeous building surrounded by crisp autumn leaves and lots of delicious food places all around the area. Inside is a bright, colourful and comfy setting, with positive quotes all around the walls. Despite the difficult topics we can deal with on shift, the atmosphere is always so warm. I start my shift by making my cup of tea (fun fact - apparently 52% of Childline counsellors drink tea!) and then enter the counselling room to see some friendly faces, the other counsellors on shift, who are always so lovely and eager to hear about your week. We then all go through to the briefing room with the supervisor for that shift where we will all individually speak about how we are feeling, how our week has been and typically make sure we are all doing okay. I love this part of the shift because it is so clear that everybody genuinely really cares and appreciates one another. We will then go back through the counselling room and begin our shift supporting some incredible young people. The supervisors on shift could not be more supportive if they tried - they are AMAZING. If ever you have a situation where you are not quite sure how to best support a young person, they are right there by your side. At the end of the shift we will have one last discussion to talk about how the shift went and how we are feeling, making sure any worries we may have are left behind before we go home. The supervisors make you feel so valued and appreciated with the praise that they give; this part of the shift really means a lot. It is then home time and ready to start my week, already looking forward to this time next week -apparently it IS possible to enjoy Mondays!
Why I Love Childline
Not only do I love the experience of a shift at Childline, but I admire the organisation as a whole. Childline was founded in 1986 by Esther Rantzen and has helped improve the lives of so many young people ever since. I believe every single person who supports Childline in any way is amazing, but perhaps the most amazing people involved are the children themselves. With every single contact I take I am utterly blown away at the bravery, maturity and courage of young people today. Whenever you speak of being a Childline Counsellor people always say “wow, you must be strong!” - but really, it is the children who inspire this strength. There is nothing more heartwarming than a young person letting you know they managed to speak up about how they are feeling to that family member, or that teacher, or that friend. They booked their first doctors appointment, they attended therapy or they dressed the way they wanted to dress- whatever it is, they did THAT thing. That thing that was terrifying them when they first contacted Childline and now they found the strength to do it. It is absolutely amazing to hear, and I feel so grateful every single day that I get to be one of those people who they share their achievements with. I get to praise them, and support them and help them understand just even a glimpse of how incredible they are. These young people are our future; and I can tell you the future is strong.
I have only been at Childline for a few months and it has already had such a huge impact on me. I would encourage anybody over the age of 16 who would like to support Childline to have a look at their website to see if there are any opportunities near you. It is a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anybody. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to leave a comment or message me personally - I would love to have a chat with you about absolutely anything.
Thank you so much for reading, and please do feel free to leave any comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts and whether you have been apart of anything similar!
Phone: 0800 1111
Email or 1-2-1 chat: https://www.childline.org.uk
SUPPORT CHILDLINE/NSPCC THIS CHRISTMAS♡