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.

Archant

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 Esther.Rantzen@nspcc.org.uk”

More from Weston Mercury

17:00

Villagers in Wedmore have been raising money to twin their toilets and help thousands of people living in poverty around the world.

Read more
17:23

Motorists are facing long delays on the M5 this evening (Sunday) after a crash involving several vehicles.

Read more

A school paper which was set up in tribute of Jill Dando has published its first edition.

Read more

A cruise ship made a rare appearance off the coast of Weston-super-Mare, when it docked at Steep Holm island.

Read more

An art exhibition dedicated to anti-bullying will take place in Weston-super-Mare later this year.

Read more

An open day in Worle gave people the chance to have their say on what they would like to see happen and improved where they live.

Read more

A kingfisher which suffered a nasty head trauma is set to return to the wild after being treated at a rescue charity.

Read more

The war memorial in Worle has been refurbished in time for the commemoration of World War One in November.

Read more

A new theatre show will take Weston by storm as Irish river dancers take to the stage.

Read more

A Berrow woman is searching for the family who taught her to walk and talk after she was evacuated to North Somerset in World War Two.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

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

Local Weather

Heavy Showers

Heavy Showers

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 8°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists