Childline was contacted more than 1,200 times by children and young people across the country on Christmas Day.

The service, which is open all year round for 24 hours a day, received 1,267 calls, texts and online contacts.

It is an almost 25% increase on last year, when the helpline was contacted 1,020 times on Christmas Day.

The service offers children and young people a free, non-judgemental and non-directive phone line, live text and webchat service 365 days a year.

Over 45 volunteers gave up their time on Christmas Day to ensure the service remained active for any young person seeking a listening ear.

The organisation said that the magic of Christmas does not reach every child.

A number of the children who contacted them described tension in their homes, often fuelled by fraught relationships and alcohol, the helpline said.

It said many children spoke of how they felt sad, lonely and missed loved ones who were not around this Christmas.

The service also said it received contacts from young people thanking them for support throughout the year.

Childline is available at 1800 666 666, or by texting to 50101.


Helplines to help you this Christmas