£30m grant to NSPCC and Childline
The goverment has said it will give a record amount to the NSPCC to help them run services for vulnerable children.
Among the benficiaries of the £30m grant will be the charity’s Childline phone advice and couselling service.
Last year the NSPCC reported a rise in the number of LGBT teenagers calling the helpline.
By far the biggest issue raised by callers was homophobic bullying. 6% of the kids who called for help were under 11.
Childline received nearly 2,800 calls last year about sexual orientation or homophobia. 60% of callers were 12-15 years old, 34% between 16 and 18.
About a quarter of all calls to the helpline overall are about bullying.
Many gay and lesbian callers said their teachers ignored homophobic verbal and physical abuse.
Too scared to tell their parents, the majority of them told Childline they are lonely and isolated.
4,500 calls are made to Childline every day, but 2,000 of them cannot be answered.
The new Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls, told the BBC:
“Children are our most precious resource and we want to give them the best possible start in life.
“We can’t do that unless they are safe. One of my priorities as head of the new department for Children, Schools and Families is to make sure we help the most vulnerable – including those whose childhood is being ruined by abuse or bullying.”
NSPCC director and chief executive, Dame Mary Marsh, said:
“This announcement is great news for children and young people.
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“Every day abused children call Childline for help, and for many this is the first time they have felt able to speak about the abuse they are suffering.
“For them, this service is a lifeline. Our aim is to eventually answer all calls for help.”
The charity is to develop a text service and a helpline where adults can report children they are concerned about.
The NSPCC was founded in 1884, and was responsible for getting Parliament to pass the first legislation to protect children.
It spends £60m a year on services for children and young people.
Childline became part of the NSPCC in February 2006. The charity supported the equalisation of consent.