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Ceri Angell joined Tudor Hall in September 2019 as deputy housemistress to the LVI and will be housemistress for that year group from September 2020. She will also head up Tudor’s busy Duke of Edinburgh programme. Back home in Wales during lockdown, she has been volunteering for Childline, and writes here about the impact of the coronavirus crisis on this valuable work.
I started volunteering for Childline when I was in my first term of university and continued this until I started at Tudor. When I returned home after schools closed, I contacted my old Childline base in Cardiff and have been volunteering once or twice a week with them since the end of March.
There have been some changes since lockdown began. Fewer volunteers are able to work as some are needing to self-isolate, but the demand for counsellors has soared due to the many issues that have arisen during this crisis - from children who are concerned about loved ones, to those who considered school to be their safe place and can no longer access their usual support systems.
I previously worked night shifts, from around 11pm until 2:30am. These were the times when we would usually receive the most high-risk calls. Now Childline is only able to offer their online chat function, which is the most in demand, until 10:30pm and calls are only available until midnight. Children can still send email messages at any time but will not receive the immediate communication that we usually strive to provide. This has been a struggle for children and counsellors as we have all had to adapt to the new system. However I feel privileged to be able to volunteer for Childline and am grateful that I am able to support as many young people as possible during this time.