A DUFFIELD man who volunteers for Childline is backing a campaign calling for more helpers.
The charity was set up in 1986 to be a free, 24-hour service allowing young people to discuss any issue causing them distress and is in desperate need of volunteers to answer calls.
Warren Hayward, 34, a legal administrator from Duffield, is one of 150 volunteers who answer calls at the East Midlands ChildLine base in Nottingham.
He said: “It was really nerve wracking taking my first call as I didn’t know what to expect but the training you receive is fantastic and there are always qualified staff on hand to help you with difficult calls.
“One of the first calls I had was from a young girl who was being sexually abused by her father. I was one of the first people who she had told about the abuse so it was really important that there was someone there to answer her call. She told me that she thought it was her fault so I reassured her that it wasn’t. You don’t always get to resolve a problem in one phone call and sometimes you have to trust that you’ve done all you can on the call to enable the young person to move forward in a positive way.
“Some of the calls can be tough but the support you get from ChildLine is amazing and it is really rewarding being able to help children.”
Warren, who does a three and a half hour shift a week, is also studying counselling at Derby College. He says volunteering at ChildLine gave him the encouragement and skills he needed to do this. Volunteers are especially wanted for weekend and evening shifts at the Nottingham base and will be given full training. Volunteer co-ordinator Cat Wynne said: “If a child plucks up the courage to call or contact us online and there is not someone available to take the call, then they can feel even more alone and isolated.
For more information about volunteering call Cat Wynne on 0207 539 6016.