The Gibraltar Magazine March 2018

Page 88



Childline is Gibraltar’s largest children’s charity exclusively operating on the Rock. They have become high profile over the last year; in terms of reach, they have fast become the largest charity in Gibraltar. Childline are most commonly associated with child abuse, but there are so many other issues that they help the community deal with on a daily basis. I sat down with trustees Annie Green and Jo Abergel for a chat about who Childline Gibraltar are, and what they do, over a fresh cup of coffee.



call our helpline. It’s another way to help people in Gibraltar, predominantly though hildline started in June 2006, their helpline service which is operational support them as it’s a legal requirement spearheaded by an NSPCC from 17:00-21:00 every evening. For social worker who relocated to to have adult present when questioned. those who would appreciate that extra Gibraltar, and is comprised of a 365 days a year 24 hours a day, specially trained volunteers are available to accomlayer of anonymity, they also offer a live board of trustees responsible for overall pany these juveniles if a parent chat box during these hours via their management, duty managers website ( Annie reveals: “Due or custodian is either unwilling or who man phone lines at night, Childline to our working hours, we’re currently only service coordinators, and volunable to.” help our little answering around 40% of calls. We are unteers who generously offer community now in discussions to divert to the NSPCC their time pro bono to help our As well as the above, Childline with big outside our helpline hours so as to offer a little community with big issues. have conducted preventative issues. 24/7 service.” As a representative of the Child educational strategies, working Protection Committee (CPC) closely with local schools and both on an executive and operational youth groups as well as parents and carers The types of calls received have changed level, and as a member of the National to raise awareness on how to deal with over the years. Initially, they were Appropriate Adult Network (NAAN), issues young people in Gibraltar predominantly about different another lesser-known service offered types of abuse (sexual, physical, may be experiencing. This form Now, one by Childline is the ‘Appropriate Adult’ of early intervention is designed emotional and neglect) whereas in 3 calls scheme. Appropriate Adults achieve a now, one in 3 calls is related to give people the understanding is related fairer justice system by safeguarding the and skills they need in order to to mental health, be it anxiety, to mental welfare and rights of children detained or deal with issues when they arise depression, or stress. As Jo health. interviewed by the RGP. Jo explains: “It’s reveals, “stress levels are rising, before they escalate into somesomething that evolved - a lot of juveparticularly for girls aged 13 to thing more serious. niles who are detained are from deprived 16; the most common Childline service backgrounds, similar to the children who users. A lot of this can be attributed to soTo date, Childline has helped over 6000



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