Sioned's story

Sioned had a chaotic home life and looked after her mother who had depression. Growing up she struggled with her mental health and and tried to end her life. Childline helped her to feel someone cared.

 It was hard to pretend everything was ok

"My home life was always chaotic. My parents argued a lot and when I was 13 they split up and my dad moved out. My mum got really depressed and spent a lot of time in bed.

My brother and I had to look after her a lot and try to encourage her to get up and wash herself. We also had to clean the house.

I was trying to function as a normal teenager but it was hard to pretend that everything was okay and I often had outbursts at school. We were just not functioning as a family.

RESTRICTED 37248-exp-2025-01.jpg

"One time when I was at home alone, I took an overdose. I'd heard about Childline so I called them and told them what I'd done. They rang an amulance for me and it saved my life."

I was moved to a psychiatric unit over 100 miles from home. It was strange and new and I was scared. I felt really lonely so I often called Childline for someone to talk to.

The unit wasn't secure and I ran away a couple of times. Each time I went near to a railway line and wanted to commit suicide but I would call Childline and they would calm me down and ring the unit, who would send the police to come pick me up."

I cannot praise Childline enough: they saved my life so many times

"The first time I called them I spoke to a counsellor called Amy who was really good with me and really patient. I must have been on the phone for about 3 hours talking about everything that was upsetting me. My life was still really chaotic but she really listened and made me feel comforted.

I used to ring them twice a week, sometimes more if things were really bad. I also wrote to them and found it really cathartic getting it all down on paper. They wrote back and I kept and treasured those letters, re-reading them again and again.RESTRICTED 37243-exp-2025-01.jpg

I moved into care when I was 14 and it was a difficult time but knowing I had Childline at the end of the phone still got me through it. I called them on Christmas Day when I was in foster care.

"I often think about the time Childline gave to me and the journey they went on with me. If I hadn't had them to turn to then I would have maybe killed myself or gone down the wrong route in life."

If any young people are going through a rough time at home or feeling depressed or suicidal, I would encourage them not to be afraid and contact Childline. It's better to get it out than keep it in and they'll be there to listen to you and help you no matter what and not judge you."

How Childline helps

Childline is a free service for children and young people - here whenever they need support or advice. Childline delivered an average of around 16,300 counselling sessions a month last year.

Childline is here for every child and young person. Whatever problems or dangers they're facing we’re here to listen – 365 days a year.

"I am so immensely grateful that you were there to listen without telling me I am lying, judging me or making me feel worse about myself and that is the amazing thing about these chats, they can save lives."
Girl, aged 14

Children don’t always know who to trust with their worries. Without a safe place to turn, they can put their trust in the wrong person or keep their fears to themselves. Home isn’t a safe place for every child, and the pandemic made even more children feel trapped, lonely, and unsure who to trust.

"I just wanted to say a big thank you to the counsellor I spoke to this morning. I don’t know what I would have done if you had not been there to talk to. You made me feel so much better about myself and gave me hope that maybe I will make it. I am so grateful for everything you have done. I was able to feel like my feelings are valid and that I have worth and a reason to live."
Girl aged 14

Childline gives every child access to free, confidential support whenever they need it. There were almost 200,000 Childline counselling sessions with children last year. Childline is always here to listen, whatever their worry.


Childline is here for children and young people wherever and whenever they need us. Feedback from young people has told us:  

  • Childline helps them feel less alone with their problems 
  • Childline helps them see their problems from a new perspective 
  • Talking about problems with Childline helps them open up with other people. 

Our Childline staff and over 1,100 volunteer counsellors around the UK delivered almost 200,000 counselling sessions in 2022/23.

Hear from Omar, one of our counsellors, about his experience helping children during the pandemic. 

"The volunteers who contribute are exceptional people… [We] are committed to the service continuing because we want to guarantee it is there for children and young people. We realise there is a real need and we are there for them."
Gwenno Huws, Childline volunteer counsellor (Prestatyn)

Children and young people also turn to our website for support online. Our website puts young people first – with games, tools, advice and support about anything from making friends to child abuse. Young people also turn to Childline’s message boards to share their worries with other young people in a safe online space, with nearly 38,000 submissions to the message boards last year.

"I have been seeing a counsellor at school for the last few years which has helped. I only see them once a week so in between I look at the Childline website for tips on managing anger and stress."
Boy, 13, Childline website user

In 2018 we created specifically for children under-12, to ensure our information is accessible for young people of all ages.


We want to be there for every child who needs us, no matter what their worry or how they choose to contact us. Children and young people sometimes have to wait for a Childline counsellor to be available. We’re always looking to improve our counselling services and make sure we’re there with them while they wait.

One example of this is the creation of Cubie, our chatbot helper that we've developed with our technology partner O2. Cubie asks important opening questions to children and young people while they wait. It also points them to helpful advice, support and games around the site to try in the meantime.

On average, online counselling sessions take over three times as long as over the phone – and make up around three quarters of our sessions.3 By using a chat bot we can help counsellors and young people by providing them with more information before each session.



It costs £4 to answer a child’s call for help. Over 80% of our income comes from those who choose to give to us4

Donate now

You can help give children and young people a voice when no one else is listening.

Volunteer with us


  1. 3. In 2020/21, the average handling time for an online counselling session was over three times as long as the average for a counselling session by phone. This includes the time taken by the counsellor to record information after the counselling session is finished.

  2. 4. In 2022/23 our total income was £120.6 million. Income from supporters includes donations and legacies (excluding statutory non-performance related grants) and trading activities. The total income from supporters for 2022/23 was £101.6 million.