We received some encouraging news recently that the Government will provide £1.6m in funding so that the NSPCC can expand its helpline by employing more staff across two sites and raise public awareness of it.
This is most welcome at a time when we have growing concerns for the safety of some children during the coronavirus crisis – it is vital that people to know how to get advice and support and where to raise concerns about a child’s wellbeing.
The helpline is currently seeing significant demand. In the month since lockdown there have been a total of 5,237 contacts to the helpline from across the UK from adults concerned about the wellbeing and safety of a child.
These contacts have come from adults with a variety of concerns. From worries about parents and carers misusing alcohol and other substances, to domestic and emotional abuse.
In one week alone (April 13-19), the helpline received 1,580 contacts - the highest number in a single week in 2020.
For some children during lockdown, home isn’t a safe place. During this crisis, schools and social workers have been on the frontline protecting vulnerable children. But we must not forget our role as a community - we all have a role in protecting children.
The helpline can be reached 24 hours a day by email – firstname.lastname@example.org - or through its online reporting form. Its team of experts can also be called Monday to Friday 8am-10pm or 9am-6pm at the weekends on 0808 800 5000.
Sandra McNair, NSPCC Midlands Head of Service