Lurgan woman Angela Torode was one of a number of people recognised as volunteer heroes during Volunteers’ Week last week for her efforts to support the ChildLine Schools Service.
School computer technician and mother of four Angela has been volunteering her time as a ChildLine Schools Service volunteer for over a year, and is one of more than 400 people in Northern Ireland who regularly undertake a wide range of activities on behalf of the charity.
Angela, aged 48, said: “I decided to volunteer for the ChildLine Schools Service for a few reasons really; I used to be a cub scout leader before I had my children and now that they are all getting older I wanted to get involved with volunteer work again. When I watched the advertisements for NSPCC, I found it difficult to think of children being in a situation where they needed help and support and didn’t know where to turn to get it.
“One morning I saw Esther Rantzen on television explaining what the ChildLine Schools Service did by going into primary schools and talking to children in a very gentle, age appropriate way about what is OK, what is not OK and how to get help if they needed it.
“I thought the service was amazing and that children would no longer feel frightened or lonely because there are trusted adults they can turn to, along with ChildLine, for help. Esther was appealing for volunteers for the school service so I applied; and if I only helped one child then it is all worthwhile.”
“After I have completed an assembly or workshop I feel happy knowing that’s another 50 or 100 children know where to get help if they need it. I love working with the children it is so enjoyable and looking at their little innocent faces; I just want all of them to be happy and safe. I hate to think of any of them being neglected, abused or bullied, but unfortunately statistics tells us it is more than likely there are some of them in that situation. However I feel at least now children will know there is help there for them and hopefully they will find the courage to ask.”
Talking about her own heroes, Angela continued, “My heroine would have to be Esther Rantzen; the amount of children she has helped over the years is too many to count. She is such an inspiration, having touched so many lives and still continuing to do so.”
ChildLine is now appealing for more local people to come forward and volunteer for the Schools Service.
To find out more about volunteering opportunities for the NSPCC, visit nspcc.org.uk or call 028 9035 1135.