A 'surge' of young people are expected to contact Childline at Christmas

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The NSPCC is preparing for a rise in the number of children and young people contacting Childline over Christmas.

Childline figures show there has been a significant increase in the amount of children reaching out for help, advice and support on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, in the last two years.

The charity say counsellors will be available around the clock over the festive period for young people to talk to.

Worries about family relationships topped the list of concerns that children spoke to Childline about on Christmas and Boxing Day last year.

Other concerns included:

  • Children and young people feeling fed-up and worried about their parents arguing, which often stemmed from financial problems or drinking too much

  • Low moods and unhappiness

  • Bereavement

  • Anxiety about going back to school

The most common age group to call Childline at this time of year are 12-15 year olds, with some callers admitting to feeling so unhappy they were having panic attacks and even harming themselves.

Nearly two thirds of the counselling sessions handled by Childline were of a serious nature, meaning that counsellors classified the child or young person as being at serious risk, either from themselves or someone else.

Children and young people can contact Childline anytime on 0800 1111 or find support online at www.childline.org.uk