NSPCC has said that anyone can play a part in helping Northern Ireland’s most vulnerable children and families, highlighting a host of volunteering opportunities across the charity’s services.
Marking this year’s Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June 2013) Neil Anderson, head of NSPCC services in Northern Ireland, said that there is an opportunity to fit every schedule. He said: “Some of the busiest people I’ve ever met volunteer with our services, but what they tell us time and time again is that that there’s always room to do a little bit more to help improve the lives of others.
“Whether you have a few hours to spare, or would simply value the opportunity to meet new people and learn new skills, NSPCC needs your help.
“We have an inspiring array of people working on our behalf to make a difference within their communities, and we want everyone to honestly consider how they could help make things better for a child in need.
“It might be a switchboard or counselling role with our ChildLine helpline; supporting young witnesses as they face daunting court proceedings; or even working with P6 and P7 children to help them understand how they should expect to be treated, and where they can go for help if they need it. Or – for those with unpredictable schedules – why not volunteer to help at one of our events, like the HACK challenge walk in the Mournes in September, which require only a couple of hours of your time?”
Highlighting the fact that, at the start of this year, over 2,000 children in Northern Ireland were on the Child Protection Register, Neil said that this is just the tip of the iceberg.He added: “These are just the cases known to the authorities, with many more unreported. Community support is vital if we are truly determined to end cruelty to children.
“Recent high profile cases have taught us how important it is that children who may have been abused or suffered distress are able to talk to someone who will listen to them, believe them, and support them, without making any judgement. I am extremely proud that our services have long been committed to this aim.
“We are also fortunate to have fantastic fundraising committees, who work tirelessly to raise awareness and money within their own communities – without their help our work simply would not be possible.
“Each and every volunteer plays a vital role in enabling us to help families in need and protect vulnerable children and young people. Join this fantastic campaign to make a difference for children, and see the difference it could make to your own life.”
To find out more about how you can lend your support, visit www.nspcc.org.uk/getinvolved, or contact the NSPCC team on 028 9035 1135.