TeenLine now under wing of the ISPCC – phone services for teens are increased to 24 hrs every day

By Mary Dennehy

AFTER 13 years based in Tallaght, TeenLine Ireland has been added to the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s services for young people – with the listening service now contactable 24 hours a day, all year-round.

TeenLine was established by Tallaght mother Maureen Bolger who, following the loss of her son Darren (16) to suicide, saw a need for a confidential, non-judgemental listening service for teenagers.

TeenLine 1

TeenLine founder Maureen Bolger (third from the left) with some of the TeenLine volunteers at an awareness event in The Square shopping centre last year

Over the past 13 years, TeenLine has been based in the Dominic’s Shopping Centre and was, according to Maureen, kept going over the years by the support and fundraising efforts of the local community.

However, due to a lack of funding and a reduction in volunteers, a decision has been made to move TeenLine under the ISPCC umbrella, and to the charity’s HQ on Baggot Street.

TeenLine calls will now be answered by the ISPCC, which hopes to create opportunities for some of the Tallaght-based volunteers.

The move has also seen the operating hours of TeenLine this week increase from 8pm to 11pm, Monday to Friday, to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

According to ISPCC CEO John Church: “Since their foundations, ISPCC Childline and TeenLine Ireland have worked to ensure children and young people have somewhere they can turn when they seek support.

“We would like to acknowledge the work that the TeenLine Ireland team has undertaken since 2005 and are happy to be taking TeenLine under the ISPCC umbrella and continuing to offer this important service to young people.”

Speaking with The Echo, TeenLine founder Maureen Bolger thanked the Tallaght community for volunteering, fundraising and donating over the past 13 years. She said: “TeenLine going to 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, stems from a small, little centre in the heart of Tallaght.”

“An amazing array of people supported the centre over the years. We had schools on board and people always knocking on our door looking to fundraise or volunteer.”

Maureen added: “I am very proud of all that TeenLine Ireland has achieved over the years and the thousands of young people we have listened to and supported.

“I am delighted that the service will now be provided by the ISPCC.

“It is great to know that calls will now be answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Maureen also spoke of the importance of TeenLine in creating a space for teenagers.

While Childline provides a national listening service to all children and young people under the age of 18, the ISPCC confirmed to The Echo that TeenLine will be its own service within the ISPCC, and continue to have its own Freephone number separate to that of Childline.

As previously reported in The Echo, TeenLine received 2,000 calls from young people during the month of December last year, with loneliness one of the main reasons behind teenagers picking up the phone.

The TeenLine number has not changed. Call 1800 833 634 or visit www.ispcc.ie for further details.

Childline, a private, confidential and non-judgmental listening service, can also be contacted on 1800 66 66 66, by texting 50101 (10am to 4am daily) or chatting online at childline.ie (10am to 4am daily).

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