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Issue Date:- 10 February 2009
Need for ChildLine service clear as number of young people
counselled for sexual abuse by ChildLine reaches a new high
from the NSPCC demonstrate ChildLine’s vital role as someone to turn
to for young people, as well as the need to grow the service through
the Child’s Voice Appeal.
ChildLine is there for young people, whatever their worry. Latest
figures, from ChildLine in Yorkshire, the North East and North West
specifically around sexual abuse, demonstrate the rising demand for
the service amongst young people who feel ready to speak out:-
· ChildLine in Yorkshire, the North East and North West counselled
2,297 children about sexual abuse last year, more than at any other
time in the service’s history
· 95 of these children were aged seven or under
· This is up from 1,489 children counselled about sexual abuse in
2004/5 – a 54% increase over 3 years
· This compares to an overall increase in the total number of
children counselled in the North from 25,219 in 2004/5, to 27,281 in
2007/08 an 8% increase
Last year the NSPCC launched the Child’s Voice Appeal (childsvoiceappeal.org.uk). The appeal is an ambitious three-year UK-wide campaign to raise £50m
to develop and grow both the ChildLine service and the NSPCC
Helpline - for adults concerned about the safety or welfare of a
child. This programme includes the introduction of both online
counselling and text services for children, which will be introduced
ChildLine is currently able to answer two thirds of the 2.3m calls
from across the UK it receives every year. The NSPCC’s aim, with
public support, is that ChildLine will be able to answer the call of
every child who needs the service, when they need it. Donations to
the Child’s Voice Appeal will allow ChildLine to introduce new
technology and ways of communicating with the service as well as to
train more volunteer counsellors and answer more calls than ever
before. The appeal will also enable us to develop the NSPCC Helpline
service for adults, which is equally vital, particularly for
concerns about children who are too young to contact ChildLine
John Dunmore, Assistant Director ChildLine, said:- “Every day,
ChildLine receives dozens of harrowing calls about sexual abuse from
children, some of whom are very young indeed. Children phone to talk
in confidence about suffering different kinds of sexual abuse, the
vast majority of the abusers being people they know, either within
their families, or the wider family circle. They dare not speak
about it, or ask for help, for fear of the consequences. Many
of them have been threatened or intimidated into silence.
We believe calls have gone up partly because of awareness campaigns
targeted at children like the NSPCC “Don’t Hide It”
sex abuse storylines on programmes such as Eastenders also encourage
children to speak out. As a result, more children now understand
what sexual abuse is and are increasingly willing to turn to ChildLine for help. More ChildLine counsellors over the last few
years has also meant more children helped and this is reflected in
these latest figures.”
ChildLine founder and President Esther Rantzen said:- “These
tragic calls come from children who have found the courage to ring a
ChildLine counsellor. Yet there are many children whose cries for
help cannot be answered because ChildLine simply does not have
enough resources to answer every call. Our nightmare is the child
who plucks up the courage to ring, fails to get through, and never
dares try again. As a ChildLine counsellor, I have experienced first
hand these heart-wrenching calls from children who feel utterly
alone until they make the call, I know the hope we provide these
children literally saves precious young lives.
ChildLine counsellors provide in-depth counselling to children for a
whole range of problems from physical or sexual abuse through to
worries about exams, pregnancy and bullying. ChildLine is on hand 24
hours seven days a week for any child whatever their problem. We
therefore urgently need to expand the service so that every child’s
cry for help can be answered.”
People can help answer a child’s cry for help by donating to the
NSPCC’s Child’s Voice Appeal by visiting
childsvoiceappeal.org.uk. Anyone worried about the
welfare of a child can call the NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000.
Businesses take action for automatic rate relief
England are calling for the tax relief they are eligible for to be
made automatic – saving them £400 million in total each year.
More than half of small businesses miss out on claiming back up to
£1,200 off their business rates because they are unaware they are
entitled to do so. Now they are calling on their MPs to support a
Private Members Bill which would see business rate relief granted
automatically for small businesses.
Business rates are the 3rd largest cost to small firms, after
salaries and rent. Yet, many small businesses are unaware they are
entitled to rate relief because many local authorities do not
publicise it well enough. Every year, around £400 million,
calculated and ear-marked by the Treasury for eligible businesses,
goes unclaimed - even though this money poses no extra cost to the
Government or tax payer.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is working with a leading
MP to pioneer a Private Members Bill to make rate relief for small
firms automatic, as it is in Wales. Tabled by Peter Luff,
Conservative MP for Mid Worcestershire and Chairman of the Business
and Enterprise committee, the Small Business Rate Relief (Automatic
Payment) Bill, is due to be debated in the House of Commons on
Friday, 6 March.
Mr Luff also tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament on Wednesday, 4 February
2009 to raise support for the Bill.
Members of the FSB will be taking action across the country to ask
their MPs to champion their case for automatic rate relief. They are
supported in this nationwide action by the steering group of the
Local Works coalition.
Norman Lay, Regional Chairman of the Merseyside, West Cheshire &
Wigan Federation of Small Businesses said:- “After rent and
wages, rates are the biggest cost to a business and automatically
getting the relief they are entitled to would be extremely welcome. During the recession, this cash injection could save many small
businesses from laying-off staff or closing down completely.
Our members will be contacting their MPs to support their call for
automatic rate relief – one of the key issues the FSB has been
calling for in its Keep Trade Local campaign over the past year.”
Ron Bailey, Director Local Works – Campaign for the Sustainable
Communities Act, said:- “Communities are falling apart because
small businesses are in danger. Making automatic the rate relief to
which they are entitled would not only help small businesses stay
afloat, it would also be a step towards keeping communities
together. And this would in turn help with climate change as it
would reduce the need to travel to shop and work.”
WITNESS APPEAL - MAN FOUND UNCONSCIOUS IN STREET, BOOTLE
Police are his week appealing for witnesses following an incident in Bootle on
Sunday, January 25, 2009.
At around 7.30pm, a member of the public called police after finding
55 year old Tommy Smith lying unconscious outside his home on Southey Street, Bootle.
Mr Smith suffered serious head injuries and was taken to hospital in
Fazakerley where he remains in a critical, but stable condition.
It is not yet known how Mr Smith came to suffer the injuries and
detectives are keen to speak to three young men who were seen
running down an alley way from Southey Street towards Peel Road at
around the time Mr Smith was found.
Anyone who was on Southey Street at the time or who has any
information is urged to contact detectives at Copy Lane on 0151 777
3161 or 0800 555 111.
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