Deborah Meaden takes to the sky for NSPCC
|Published: 25th June 2010 18:10|
Deborah Meaden, chair of the NSPCC's South West Child's Voice Appeal, took to the sky in a hot air balloon on Wednesday evening to announce the NSPCC as the 2010 Bristol International Balloon Fiesta's chosen charity.
Deborah was at Ashton Court Estate, Bristol on Wednesday 23 June to personally thank the Fiesta organisers and call on would-be visitors at this year's free event to help raise vital funds for the charity's South West Child's Voice Appeal.
Deborah Meaden (photo Callum McHugh)
Deborah Meaden, said: "We are extremely grateful to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta's organising committee for giving a commitment to helping protect children from cruelty and abuse by choosing to support the NSPCC at this hugely popular event."
The NSPCC launched the Child's Voice Appeal in 2008 to raise £50 million nationally to answer more cries for help through its national services, ChildLine and the NSPCC Helpline.
Demand for help is high, so the NSPCC needed to expand the NSPCC Helpline to protect more children who were too young, vulnerable or unable to speak out for themselves. Children were plucking up the courage to phone ChildLine, but were unable to get through to a counsellor. ChildLine wasn't online where children needed the service to be for them.
ChildLine received just over 1.9 million calls from across the UK and Channel Islands in 2008/2009, of which 7,800 landline calls* were received from the Bristol area.
The NSPCC Helpline received in the region of 1032 landline calls** from the Avon area.
A total of £1.6 million is needed in the South West alone and so far the total raised is around £600,000.
Nationally, thanks to donations and fundraising, the NSPCC has raised over half of the £50 million Child's Voice Appeal target.
ChildLine now provides online counselling as well as the phone service, giving children a choice of ways to contact the service, which has a base in Exeter.
Deborah added: "Launching the ChildLine online service has enabled the NSPCC to reach new children who are particularly vulnerable. Many children tell ChildLine counsellors that they didn't want to phone them with their concerns because they couldn't find the words to use, but online they feel more comfortable and able to talk about issues like self harm, suicide and sexual abuse."
Head of local fundraising in the South West, Steve Morton, said: "We want to be there whenever and wherever children need us. To protect even more children in and around Bristol and across the UK and Channel Islands from abuse and neglect, the NSPCC urgently needs more funding.
"By giving to the South West Child's Voice Appeal at this year's Bristol Balloon Fiesta, the public will be helping children at risk of abuse to be better informed, better cared for and better protected. Everyone can support the Child's Voice Appeal at file://www.nspcc.org.uk/southwest"
If you would like to be part of the NSPCC's charity team at the Fiesta, call 0844 892 0562 or email firstname.lastname@example.org