Don't miss a story sign up to Weston Mercury's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Esther Rantzen appeals for Childline success stories from North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 07:32 05 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:38 05 September 2017

Dame Esther Rantzen is asking people to get in touch with her if they have received support from Childline.

Dame Esther Rantzen is asking people to get in touch with her if they have received support from Childline.


A TV presenter and founder of Childline is appealing for people in North Somerset to get in touch with her if they have been helped by the support service.

Dame Esther Rantzen launched Childline in 1986 and she is now keen to hear from people who have benefited from the helpline.

Sophie, from Somerset, was one of the first to contact Childline after suffering frequent emotional and physical abuse from her mum.

She was thrown out of her house at the age of 11 and after walking around aimlessly, she called Childline from a phone box.

For the first time she felt listened to and was not treated like a child. She was taken into respite care and ended up staying with a foster family until she was 19.

After a while, Sophie and her mum were able to reconcile and build a relationship.

Childline played an instrumental role in transforming Sophie’s life and Esther Rantzen is keen to hear from other people who have been helped by the support service.

She said: “I will never forget the night we launched Childline in October 1986. Put simply, the phone lines were running red hot.

“In the floor above our office was a huge telephone exchange and a BT engineer took me up to watch the impact of 50,000 attempted calls.

“From then I knew children desperately needed an outlet and a safe space to talk about their problems.

“I still remember some of the calls I took that first night - children in tears describing suffering they had never been able to talk about to anyone else.”

Childline is now part of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) which has enabled the service to launch an online counselling service and phone app, For Me.

Dame Esther said: “But now I need your help. When Childline counsellors talk to young people they get a glimpse into their troubled lives, but they rarely hear the end of the story.

“We need to know how the service helped you in the long-term. Telling us about your experience will enable us to reach many other young people who are still out there in need of our support and advice.

“Please contact me on”

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 19:00

A teenage Elvis fan has won another award for his singing and guitar playing as the King.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

An action plan for how North Somerset Council can improve its services for vulnerable children has been drawn up.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

A Worle school continues to be good, inspectors said in a report.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:45

An elderly man has been taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation after a fire broke out in his flat in Weston-super-Mare.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

Weston Operatic Society has raised more than £1,700 for Weston Hospicecare.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Schoolchildren in Weare created Christmas cards for a competition this month.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

A motorway crash has caused delays this afternoon (Monday).

Read more
Yesterday, 13:37

Hundreds of pounds have been raised for Great Western Air Ambulance Charity thanks to dozens of dancers.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:00

A woman from Worle has been dressing up as an elf and putting herself into some unusual situations to raise money for a mental health charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:39

A care home in Sandford has been told it must improve after it was rated unsafe by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 5°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Somerset's trusted business finder