We spoke to Shellie Murnane, Child and Family Support Worker with the ISPCC about her charity, the services they provide and abseiling down Croke Park.
The Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC), who have an office located on O’Connell Street Limerick is Ireland’s national child protection charity. Their goal is to make the protection of children everyone’s priority.
Ms Murnane, spoke of the services that the ISPCC provide for people who need it. The childline service is a 24 hour phone line for children up to the age of 18. People can talk to volunteers or other members of staff.
They provide face to face support for young people while their mentoring service sees volunteers act as mentors and offer support to children.
So what are the signs to look out for in a child that indicate that they need help?
The Child and Family Support Worker said: “It varies from person to person but if a child’s behaviour is changing then it is important to keep an eye on them. They may become quiet and introverted or even angry and aggressive. If they are acting differently it may be worth keeping a close eye on.”
She stresses the importance of building trust when she is working with a child and believes being able to read a person’s body language is crucial to providing the help needed.
The charity needs roughly €5 million per year to run its services with €3.5 million directed towards the 24 hour childline. Seventy seven per cent of their funding comes from fundraising and donations.
She stated: “We do depend hugely on donations from companies and people. We have super volunteers but they need training and ongoing monitoring plus our childline services runs 24 hours a day and is in need of funding in order to continue.”
So what’s next for the ISPCC?
They are hosting a Childline abseiling challenge in Croke Park on 23rd March. Participants do not need to have previous experience. On May 11th the charity is organising Zipline for Children where people soar through the skies in Wales on the fastest zipline in Europe. For more information visit the ISPCC website http://www.ispcc.ie.
The ISPCC offer a range of services so please don’t suffer alone.
There is a number of ways to get in touch with the ISPCC.
Limerick Regional Office Phone Number: 061 400 077
ISPCC Dublin Phone Number: 01 6767 960
Childline Service for people up to the age of 18: 1800 66 66 66 (24 hours a day), texting to 50101 (10am – 4am daily)
Online discussion with ISPCC: Childline.ie (10am – 4am every day).