Suffolk: 4,500 children call ChildLine

A LEADING children’s charity is urging Suffolk schools to carry out regular pupil surveys after it was revealed ChildLine received around 4,500 calls from the county last year.

The NSPCC believes canvassing youngsters will help stamp out long-term bullying.

Figures from ChildLine – a service of the NSPCC – reveal many children suffer continual harassment and attacks for years.

In some cases the bullying has been so severe that children have turned to harming themselves or even contemplated suicide.

Nationally, over the last decade more than 15,000 children have told ChildLine counsellors they were bullied for up to five years and in another 2,190 cases it went on even longer.

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In addition another 30,000 said the bullying lasted for between one month and a year.

During the period from April 1, 2009, to March 31, 2010, ChildLine received in the region of 4,500 landline calls from Suffolk.

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Landline and payphone calls represent only 24% of the calls that ChildLine receives. In 2009/10 the ChildLine base in London counselled 3,985 children about bullying. In a bid to help end these extreme cases the NSPCC is asking all schools to conduct anonymous annual surveys to get a clearer picture of the ordeals children are suffering and to discover the extent of cyber-bullying.

As part of Anti-Bullying Week the children’s charity also wants to ensure all bullying incidents to be recorded by headteachers.

Elise Younger, ChildLine service manager for London, said: “When bullying carries on for such a long time it will have a serious effect on the child who is being targeted. Some of them become desperate and can see no end to their ordeal. It especially strikes home when they realise they can’t escape it because their tormentors use mobile phones, e-mail, text and social networking sites to inflict their terror.

“Many of the children who call us are sadly at the end of their tether and desperately need help.

“Anonymous surveys will give teachers important information like where and when the bullying happens, how frequent it is and the form it takes. It’s the only way they can map it and then deal with it.”

Anyone needing to contact ChildLine should telephone 0800 1111 and online at

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