Coin it for kids by round­ing up all your old money

Men­tal health pleas re­jected

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - NEWS - BY LAURA CON­NOR

YOU could help to save a child in cri­sis just by rum­mag­ing down the back of the sofa to round up your old pounds.

As part of our Christ­mas cam­paign for the NSPCC and Child­line, launched yes­ter­day, we’re ask­ing you to make a dif­fer­ence by dig­ging out your old coins and tak­ing them to Bar­clays.

Ev­ery year 175,000 calls from trou­bled young­sters across the UK don’t reach the free coun­selling ser­vice, due to a lack of fund­ing, grow­ing de­mand and lack of staff.

Child­line needs an ex­tra £500,000 an­nu­ally to close the gap. So the Daily Mir­ror has joined the Light Up Christ­mas for Chil­dren cam­paign. Just take your old pound coins and left­over for­eign cur­rency to a branch of Bar­clays, where staff will send it all to the NSPCC.

NSPCC boss Peter Wan­less said just one of your old pound coins can go a long way. “Small sums can make a huge dif­fer­ence, es­pe­cially to a young per­son’s life,” he said.

“Four peo­ple do­nat­ing one old pound could pay for a Child­line coun­sel­lor to an­swer a call from a child or teenager, while £27 could pay for an in-depth coun­selling ses­sion, of­ten the first time a young per­son feels lis­tened to.” The old round p o u n d s have been re­placed by a new forgery-proof 12-sided coin.

There were £400mil­lion-worth of old pounds in cir­cu­la­tion just be­fore they stopped be­ing le­gal ten­der on Oc­to­ber 15, so there are still plenty out there.

Mr Wan­less added: “We are re­ally grate­ful to Bar­clays for run­ning this fan­tas­tic ini­tia­tive and hav­ing their staff ready to col­lect the old pound coins.”

Dame Es­ther Rantzen, who founded the 24-hour Child­line coun­selling ser­vice in 1986, agreed your old coins can make a huge dif­fer­ence. But it’s not just old coins and cur­rency that could help save lives. A WOR­RY­ING 150 chil­dren a day are be­ing re­fused vi­tal men­tal health treat­ment.

In the past two years, 100,000 UK chil­dren re­ferred to lo­cal men­tal health ser­vices were re­jected, says the NSPCC.

This was de­spite Child­line giv­ing record num­bers of coun­selling ses­sions to young­sters about sui­cide and men­tal health is­sues.

The NSPCC ob­tained the fig­ures via a Free­dom of in­for­ma­tion re­quest to NHS trusts in Eng­land, which found that out of 652,023 cases re­ferred to child and ado­les­cent men­tal health ser­vices, 109,613 chil­dren were turned away be­tween 2015 and 2017. One in five trusts that re­sponded failed to dis­close re­jec­tions.

Men­tal health is now the most com­mon rea­son for Child­line con­tact. The NSPCC wants the Gov­ern­ment to shift its fo­cus to pre­ven­tion, so young­sters do not reach cri­sis point.

Posed by model

DES­PER­ATE Child in cri­sis

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