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Staff at the NSPCC’s Helpline in Belfast have been taking part in a 5km a Day Challenge.

The team of seventeen, which included Hannah Hasson from Newry, Chris Ritchie from Bangor, Susan Anderson from Ballygowan, Andy Rankin from Bangor, Chloe Carson from Waringstown and Rosa Stevens from Holywood, have been using the initiative to keep fit and raise funds for the charity as well.

They covered approximately 2630km between them and raised £4,162.21 so far which will help support children in Northern Ireland.

The NSPCC Helpline staff.

Employees at the Helpline, which is based primarily in Belfast, were granted key worker status by the NI Executive early on in the pandemic.

This allowed the essential service, to be staffed for adults to get in touch by phone or online to get advice and share their concerns about a child, anonymously if they wish. 

Joanne McMaster, Supporter Fundraising Manager at NSPCC Northern Ireland, said: “We are so proud of the Helpline team for going above and beyond their duties and to fundraise for NSPCC Northern Ireland.

“Their amazing endeavours will help support our work throughout Northern Ireland”

The Helpline teams in Belfast and Manchester work 365 days per year to protect children in Northern Ireland and across the rest of the UK. The NSPCC team are professional practitioners with backgrounds in jobs like social work, teaching, counselling and health care.

As lockdown continues throughout Northern Ireland, staff at the helpline are urging members of the public to be alert to possible signs of neglect and abuse and to call the helpline if they are concerned. 

Social distancing, self-isolating and quarantine can cause stress and changes in everyone's behaviour. Spotting the signs of abuse might be more difficult and it can be difficult to know for certain if something is wrong.

Possible signs of abuse include: aggressive or repeated shouting; hearing hitting or things being broken; children crying for long periods of time; very young children left alone or are outdoors by themselves; children looking dirty or not changing their clothes and children being withdrawn or anxious.

Our free NSPCC Helpline provides adults with a place they can get advice and support, share their concerns about a child or get general information about child protection. Adults can contact the Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk 

You can still donate to the team’s fundraising efforts, go to:  WWW.JUSTGIVING.COM

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