RTE’s Fair City teen star Niamh Quirke is supporting Childline’s campaign ‘Stay Silent So Children Can Be Heard’, in a bid to encourage the nation to hold a sponsored silence on Friday May 2nd to help Childline make the leap from a traditional phone listening service into the online world.
Over the years there has been an explosion in new technologies and international studies are showing that young people are turning away from the traditional phone call and moving to the online world for advice and support. This is why Childline has to move with the times.
Niamh and Childline are challenging the people of Ireland to ‘Stay Silent’ for a minimum of 30 minutes. No Facebook, no Twitter, no emails, no texting, no speaking- signifying the damaging effects and isolation children experience when they are not heard.
Fair City viewers recently watched as Niamh’s character, vulnerable Rachel Brennan, was humiliated, blackmailed, taunted and mocked at the hands of bullies. Thankfully Rachel is a fictional character but Childline knows that bullying is far from fiction for many of Ireland’s youths, who live in misery, isolation and fear through its impact.
On average Childline receives over 700,000 calls and messages each year, however due to no government funding over 200,000 of these go unanswered. This is a truly terrifying reality for Childline who fears the worst calls they receive are the ones that go unheard.
Speaking about the “Stay Silent” campaign, Michelle O’Farrell, 5th Class teacher, Scoil Treasa Naofa, Dublin 8 said:
“The ISPCC’s sponsored silence campaign was a fantastic activity for 5th Class to participate in. The children challenged themselves to ‘Stay Silent’ for over 4 hours which amazed everyone. The campaign allowed for plenty of discussion in areas of the SPHE curriculum, empathising with children of their own age and actively engaging in charitable efforts and fundraising. Without hesitation, I would love to get involved with a future middle/senior class in the ‘Stay Silent Campaign’“
The ISPCC and Childline are encouraging primary schools to get involved in this fund-raising campaign on May 2nd. For more information on how to host your ‘Stay Silent’ event, log onto ISPCC Stay Silent Campaign page and download your fundraising pack or call the fundraising team on 1850 50 40 50.
Donations can also be made via text by texting the word SILENT to 50300 to donate €2 to Childline.