Children’s charities ChildLine and NSPCC are to merge after following ChildLine’s financial difficulties in a “challenging and competitive fundraising environment.”
From early next year, ChildLine’s free helpline is set to become part of the NSPCC.
The planned merger follows months of talks after ChildLine approached the NSPCC to discuss how its helpline its service could best be secured and developed.
ChildLine, founded by Esther Rantzen in 1986, acknowledged that “the challenging and competitive fundraising environment has meant that the helpline has never been able to meet the enormous demand from children.”
The ChildLine name and memorable phone number, 0800 1111, will remain unchanged and it will remain as a free 24-hour service for any child or young person with a problem.
The NSPCC free 24 hour Child Protection Helpline 0808 800 5000 will continue to offer support and ./guidance to anyone with concerns about the welfare of a child.
The NSPCC has an annual income of £112 million compared to ChildLine’s £14.6 million.
Esther Rantzen said: “The British public who have supported us so generously over the years can be assured that their money will continue to pay for children’s phone calls and for the help they receive when they call. We are certain that our loyal supporters will stay with us as we take this momentous step for children.”
While ChildLine across the whole of the UK will become part of the NSPCC, in Scotland both charities are seeking a way forward that would see the ChildLine service in Scotland being provided by CHILDREN 1st.