East Dunbartonshire fire officer joins Childline after seeing child trauma

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A Scottish Fire and Rescue community safety officer from East Dunbartonshire has joined Childline after witnessing child trauma while carrying out home visits.

Lynn Sweeney (59) started her training in May with the confidential counselling service, which helps children across the UK with problems including bullying, self-harm and suicide.

Lynn volunteers every Friday night and combines her counselling role with her full-time job supporting vulnerable people.

She said: “I work in the community with vulnerable people and through my job I was seeing more and more children that were affected by trauma, such as poverty, domestic violence and social exclusion where one of the parents may be in prison.

“Children don’t have a lot of places they can turn to for help. They get told what to do all the time by parents, teachers, care workers and social workers.

“But if a child feels that they are being empowered to make the decisions themselves they are more likely to carry them through, rather than when someone is enforcing ideas on them. This is what we are trained to do at Childline.

Lynn, from Bishopbriggs, added: “At the moment, we really need volunteers in the Glasgow base and this is a role I could not recommend enough.”

In 2017/18, Childline provided over 278,000 counselling sessions to children and young people across the UK. During this period, 13,198 of these counselling sessions were from Scotland where the top concern was mental and emotional health.

Lynn said: “If there is anyone out there who may be interested in volunteering for Childline I would encourage them to come along to an information night at Glasgow.”

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