Local student encourages people in Cardiff to become ChildLine volunteer counsellors
Pic: ChildLine volunteer counsellor, Annemarie Newbury “it’s been a fantastic experience “
Annemarie Newbury, a 20 year old student from Cardiff, underwent training at the beginning of this year to become a ChildLine volunteer counsellor at the online base in Cardiff and is now encouraging others to do the same.
ChildLine is the UK’s free 24-hour confidential helpline for children and young people who are in danger or distress and need someone to turn to. Every day, thousands of young people contact ChildLine – either by phone or online, to talk about the problems they face. The support and advice they receive calms fears, solves problems and, in the most extreme cases, even saves lives.
Annemarie started her training in February, and after completing the XX week course she was able to take part in her first counselling session in April.
Annemarie said: “I decided to become a ChildLine volunteer because I thought it would be a great experience for me and that I would learn a lot from it. I wanted to do something meaningful, to know I was making a difference in someone’s life.
“I found the training very challenging and it surprised me how much I needed to learn but it’s been a fantastic experience and one I’ll never forget.”
ChildLine supervisor at the Cardiff base, Amy Jones, said: “We urgently need people to fill a number of shifts throughout the week. You don’t need to have formal training or qualifications in counselling to apply as we will provide full training to all successful applicants. All you need is a commitment to children and young people, an open mind and an ability to listen and support young people who need to talk.”
ChildLine volunteer counsellor, Annemarie, continued: “Every online chat I have with a child is unique, not one chat is ever the same. At times it can be challenging and difficult but at the same time rewarding to know how much we are helping them. Often all children want is to be listened to, to know that someone is there to support them. However, knowing that there are more children waiting to make contact can be heart-breaking. There are only so many children that one counsellor can talk to but you can’t help wanting to talk to them all.”
Anyone over the age of 16 can volunteer for ChildLine and the NSPCC welcomes applications from all walks of life, including Welsh speakers. Potential volunteers will initially need to commit to 50 hours for training and assessment. They will then be required to do a weekly shift for a minimum of 12 months.
If you would like further information about how to become a volunteer counsellor at the ChildLine online base in Cardiff, please contact Amy Jones or Louise Israel on 0203 188 3698.
To complete an application form visit www.nspcc.org.uk and search for ChildLine volunteering opportunities in Cardiff.
The deadline for application is midnight on Thursday 17 May 2012.