BT and ChildLine team up to launch new online fundraising initiative
- BT Yahoo! online search helps to fund ChildLine night services to help children in crisis -
BT has teamed up with ChildLine to raise funds and help support the expansion of the ChildLine night service – a key support for vulnerable children and young people in the UK. In an innovative move, five per cent of revenue generated via online searches carried out at BT Yahoo! will be donated to ChildLine.*
Figures released today by ChildLine indicate the importance of the night service. In 2007, 39% of referrals to the emergency or social services happened during the 7pm to 7am period, and research shows that children and young people calling overnight are often in a state of distress and need emergency help. Since the advent of mobile phones, ChildLine has also found that many more children call later into the evening, when it is easier to make the call privately. The focus on the night service will support ChildLine’s overall goal to answer every call, as last year a third of the 2.3 million calls made to the helpline went unanswered due to lack of resource.
John Petter, managing director, BT Consumer, said of the initiative: “This ground-breaking partnership between BT Yahoo! and ChildLine will enable our customers to raise funds while they search online for their holidays or compare insurance deals.* BT is delighted to be able to support the expansion of ChildLine’s night service.”
This initiative from BT and ChildLine capitalises on growing internet usage in the UK. Latest figures from Ofcom show that time spent online has grown fourfold between 2002 and 2007 – from six minutes to 24 minutes per person every day.**
Money raised by the new online initiative will contribute to the development of the night service, enabling ChildLine to recruit more counsellors and to answer more than 1,000 calls from children in crisis at night. From this autumn, ChildLine operations in Birmingham and Glasgow will recruit additional counsellors to answer night-time calls, expanding the service beyond its London HQ.
Founder of ChildLine, Esther Rantzen, welcomed the partnership, and stressed the importance of the night service for vulnerable callers: “The expansion of the night service is a key priority for ChildLine. We receive some of our most serious calls at night from children running away from violence or abuse, or from children who feel they simply cannot cope with their own despair. So we are delighted to be working with BT Yahoo! to help fund the recruitment of new staff and provide the night service from additional locations so that we can answer even more desperate children. As people are increasingly spending more time online, this is a fantastic way to generate funds for a vital lifeline for children and young people across the UK.”
ChildLine night service counsellor Margo sums up how vital the night service is to its callers: “When I get just one call in a night where I know I’ve saved a child’s life, it reminds me how important it is for there to be someone at the end of the phone for children overnight. It is really satisfying to know that whatever the time of night, we are providing a free and accessible service available to all children and young people whether they are in danger, in distress or simply worried about a problem.”
More information about the initiative is available on uk.docs.yahoo.com/btyahoo/childline, and anyone wishing to make a donation to ChildLine by traditional routes can visit www.nspcc.org.uk to find out more about ways of giving.
Notes to editors
*Applies to searches completed by clicking on a sponsored link. 5% of sponsored search revenue received by BT via online searches carried out at BT Yahoo! during the promotion will be donated to ChildLine.
**Internet usage figures from Ofcom Communications Market Report, published 14 August 2008.
UK Internet Usage - BT 21st Century Life Index Report
Research from BT’s 21st Century Life Index Report, carried out by Ipsos MORI, further demonstrates increasing internet usage:
• The proportion of people spending more than five hours per week online has more than doubled in 10 years
• The number of internet users spending more than 10 hours per week has nearly trebled in 10 years from 10% in 1998 to 29% in 2008
• The number of internet users visiting over 20 websites a week has also more than doubled in 10 years (from 8% to 19%)
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