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Newry, Mourne and Down Council is supporting  NSPCC Northern Ireland's Here for Children Christmas Appeal.

Child cruelty and neglect offences in Northern Ireland have increase by 22% this year alone. 

Newry Town Hall will be illuminated in Green on Monday in support of NSPCC
Newry Town Hall will be illuminated in Green on Monday in support of NSPCC

On Monday 7th December Newry Town Hall and Down Leisure Centre in Downpatrick will be illuminated in the charity’s distinctive green colour to provide a beacon of hope for children at risk of abuse this Christmas.

In Northern Ireland, in 2019/20, there were 605 offences which is more than three times the total in 2013/14 which was 184.

The NSPCC also examined the number of offences that took place in the first three months of the spring lockdown and found that 5,476 child cruelty and neglect offences were recorded by police, across the UK, from 1st April 1 to 30th June this year. In Northern Ireland, where the PSNI provided data to the NSPCC on request, during the same period there were 109 offences.

The charity has also launched a new TV appeal which depicts some of the heart-breaking abuse contacts the NSPCC run service Childline expects to take in the Christmas holidays. Unfortunately, one in three calls to our Childline service will go unanswered. That’s why every penny raised is so vital.

As part of its new appeal, the charity is calling on the public to donate £20 to the NSPCC so that services like Childline can be here for children this Christmas.

Joanne McMaster, NSPCC Supporter Fundraising Manager for Northern Ireland, said: “The pandemic is the greatest challenge we’ve faced in decades and we’re extremely grateful to Newry, Mourne and Down Council who will be turning Newry Town Hall and Down Leisure Centre in Downpatrick green to help raise awareness of the NSPCC’s Here for Children Christmas Appeal.

“Unfortunately, during the spring lockdown, 50 children a day across the UK turned to Childline after suffering abuse and neglect. Thousands more children will suffer over the Christmas holidays, and Childline may be the only place they can turn which means it is more crucial than ever to donate if you can this year. We appreciate every penny.” 

To donate this Christmas, please visit: HTTPS://WWW.NSPCC.ORG.UK/SUPPORT-US/WAYS-TO-GIVE/DONATE/

Adults concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC helpline seven days a week on 0808 800 5000, or email help@nspcc.org.uk

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