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Childline founder Rantzen meets volunteer aged 100; CHARITY.

Childline founder Dame Esther Rantzen visited the helpline's base in Aberdeen yesterday to say a special thank you to the charity's oldest volunteer and to urge more people to help.

Norman Hutchison was 85 years old when he signed up to volunteer 15 years ago - when the Aberdeen base was newly formed.

Now aged 100, he still comes along to lend a hand with the administration.

He said: "Some of the things happening to children are shocking. That's why it's so important that Childline is there. The service is always in need of helpers. It would be good if more men volunteered."

Formed in 1986, Childline was the brainchild of Dame Esther and came about following a Child Watch segment which was commissioned for her popular prime-time That's Life programme.

A 48-hour helpline was set up after the programme aired and Dame Esther recalls the phones being "jammed" with calls.

She said: "Because we had items on like the dog who said 'sausages', lots of children watched That's Life. We received hundreds of calls - mainly talking about sexual abuse. The social workers who were running the lines for the BBC said that for these kids, talking to someone else who told them it wasn't their fault and telling them that things could change - it empowered these kids and gave them hope."

The charity has 150 volunteers working from the Aberdeen base, but Dame Esther said: "We need more. At the moment we are reaching three out of four children who need us. We want to be able to help that fourth child."

For more information on volunteering, call Childline on 0800 1111.

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Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 2, 2019
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