ChildLine founder Esther Rantzen visits Exeter centre

ChildLine volunteers, Exeter Nationally, more than 150,000 children called ChildLine for help last year

Related Stories

The founder of ChildLine has visited its South West centre to thank volunteers for the work they do.

Esther Rantzen, who is president of the charity, said more than 5,000 children were helped by volunteers last year.

The confidential helpline which is run by the NSPCC was set up in 1986 to help children in danger or distress.

The Exeter centre is run by 70 volunteers, who take calls from young people across Devon and Cornwall.

Over the Christmas period last year, it received 74 first-time calls from children.

Nationally, Childline received more than 150,000 calls in 2009 on subjects ranging from bullying in school to sexual abuse.

Ms Rantzen said when ChildLine first began, some of the children phoning for help had suffered sexual abuse for up to 15 years.

"Now if you take the children who ring us about sexual abuse, half of them ring us within a month of it starting," she told BBC News.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Devon

Weather

Plymouth

17 °C 11 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.