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Recognition for Childline volunteers who have given thousands of hours to help children in Liverpool

Photo shows the NSPCC award winners holding certificates.

VOLUNTEERS from the NSPCC's Liverpool Childline Centre have been thanked and awarded for giving up thousands of hours of their own time to support and help children. The volunteers give from 3 hours a week to the Childline Centre in, Great Homer Street, Liverpool, with some racking up an astonishing 2,000 hours over the years. Among those being praised for their efforts were Vivien Lewis, who has volunteered for Childline for 20 years; including:- 19 years at the Call Centre, in Belfast, and a year in Liverpool. Jo Cremin and Jill Owen have each clocked up more than 2,000 volunteer hours in admin and switchboard operation respectively, and Joan Cumming and Jan Dorrity, each of whom have completed 1,500 hours, as Counsellors, with Childline. They were awarded certificates and thanked by Childline volunteer coordinator Danielle Azanuwha at a special ceremony last week.

Danielle said:- "Thanks to all of our volunteers, we can bring a light to every childhood and provide support and help to children and young people across Merseyside and the UK. Whether they're speaking directly to them on the phones or online, or competing the admin work that keeps everything working smoothly and securely, all our volunteers are essential to ensuring Childline is there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

In 2019, volunteers at the Liverpool Childline base gave up almost 14,000 hours in total, across 4,136 shifts, to deliver 22,602 counselling sessions; including:- 9,772 online chats, 7,117 email conversations and 5,713 phone calls to children and young people across the UK. If you are looking for a new challenge in the new year, and have just 3 hours each week to spare, find out how you can volunteer at Childline or support the NSPCC by going to:- NSPCC.Org.UK.

The full list of volunteers awarded included:-

► Vivien Lewis:- Received an award for 20 years' service as a Childline volunteer, including 19 years at Belfast and 1 year at the Liverpool Office.

► Jo Cremin:- More than 2,000 hours, as a volunteer admin, at the Liverpool Office.

► Jill Owen:- More than 2,000 hours, as a volunteer Switchboard Operator.

► Joan Cumming:- 1,500 hours, as a Dual Counsellor.

► Jan Dorrity:- 1,500 hours, as a Dual Counsellor.

► Barbara Hughes:- 1,400 hours, as a Dual Counsellor.

► Kimberley Brady:- 1,150 hours.

► Jeffrey Scholes:- 1,100 hours, as a Dual Counsellor.

► Jane Oyston:- 1,000 hours, as a Dual Counsellor.

► Libby Mackay:- 1,000 hours.

► Lisa McClarnon:- 900 hours, as a Dual Counsellor.

► Stephen Bibby:- 850 hours, as a Dual Counsellor.

► Sheila McKenna:- 800 hours.

Karen Envis:- 800 hours, as a Dual Counsellor.

► Susan Mooney:- 800 hours, as a Dual Counsellor.

► Janette Hinton–Lever:- 500 hours

► David Mackinnon:- 500 hours volunteering as an Email Counsellor

► Raymond Simm:- 500 hours, as a Dual Counsellor.

► Sue Stanley:- 500 hours, as an Email Counsellor.

Business Bank urges people to be diligent and take cyber security seriously to protect your online cash

Dave Wickham who is the Head of IT at Redwood Bank

ONLINE banking is, for many of us, a part of our day to day lives, but concerns over cyber security and a rise in online scams have left many of us asking just how safe is our hard earned cash? Latest figures, released as part of the National Crime Survey, have revealed a 15% year on year increase in fraud incidents. Bank and credit account fraud accounted for the majority of that rise, rising by 17% from 2.3m to 2.7m offences. The number of fraud offences referred to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau also rose by 16%, increasing from 638,069 in 2018 to 740,845 this year. So, with online banking giving digital savvy criminals a new channel to exploit, what can you do to keep your savings safe?

Dave Wickham, Head of IT at Redwood Bank said the Bank is committed to cyber security; has put pen to paper in the hopes of ensuring your money stays out of reach of online opportunists for you all in 2020.

Dave said that you should:- "Choose a strong password! This should be different from other passwords you use and not personally identifiable. The guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is to use three random words. Try to incorporate uppercase, lowercase, numbers and symbols to add complexity. Keep your devices up to date with the latest software patches; you will often receive a prompt on your computer, smartphone or tablet to inform you that software or an app is ready to be updated. Don't ignore this message. Also ensure your device has Anti Virus installed and is kept up to date. This can help protect you from nasty websites, emails and software which could attempt to steal your data. Where available use 2 factor authentication (2FA)/Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), including on your personal email accounts where possible. 2FA/MFA requires you to perform an extra check before allowing access to your account; this means even if your password is compromised, your account stays safe. Be careful what you click on! A very common attempt to gain credentials is to trick you into clicking a link or downloading a program that contains malware. If you aren't expecting the email or are unsure in any way, then exercise caution. Consider contacting the sender to ascertain whether it was genuine. Access your accounts from a secure network wherever possible. Free and public WiFi networks are often not encrypted and therefore unsecure, which means it's easier for a hacker to access your device or information. Always ensure the website you are logging in to starts with:- 'https' at the beginning and has a padlock in the URL to show it's secure, when using financial services."

Did you know? Redwood Bank was launched in August 2017, becoming Britain's newest Business Bank for small businesses and investing heavily in technology, that was:- 'born in the cloud.'

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