Vodafone Ireland Foundation and ISPCC Childline announce new partnership to keep children safe

BITCI News - Members News - Feb 23, 2016

ISPCC Childline and the Vodafone Ireland Foundation are delighted to announce a major five year partnership that aims to keep children safe by keeping them connected. The Partnership will:

  • provide the charity with €2 million in direct funding from the Vodafone Foundation over five years
  • provide a commitment to covering the call costs for the Childline service for ten years until 2026
  • update Childline’s technologies and service infrastructure to modernise and broaden out access to the service in line with the changing needs of children
  • offer additional resources including Vodafone’s Be Strong Online Programme, to support children and parents through some of the issues they face in today’s digital society
  • leverage and engage Vodafone’s 2000 employees raise further funds for Childline

In 2014 ISPCC’s unique support service for children and young people responded to almost 500,000 calls and online contacts. Over the last 10 years, Childline has experienced a 75% increase in children seeking support online. Through this new partnership, with Vodafone’s support, the charity will now be in a position to develop a new total communications infrastructure which will improve children’s access to Childline and provide a 24 online digital platform.  Vodafone’s Be Strong Online Programme will offer support on issues ranging from bullying to online privacy and can be accessed online and in all retail stores nationwide from Tuesday, February 9th, Safer Internet Day 2016.  One in five children in Ireland say that they have been bothered by something online in the last year*.  The Be Strong online programme will mean that children will now have a range of resources offering support and advice on cyber safety at their fingertips whenever they need it.

Announcing the partnership, Grainia Long, Chief Executive, ISPCC Childline said ‘I’m thrilled that ISPCC Childline will be working with Vodafone to help keep children safe.  For every child who reaches us, there are many more who cannot.  From today, this partnership will enable us to give every child the connection they need, when and where they need it most.’

Ray Collins, Vodafone Ireland Director of Strategy and Chairman of the Vodafone Ireland Foundation said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Childline and are looking forward to working with them to transform their unique and invaluable service.  Life is challenging for young people and children today.  Together we want to ensure that when children reach out for help, they can connect with Childline in whatever way they choose, via a call or a text or an instant message.   Through the partnership we also plan to work together to build young people’s resilience and awareness online, to help them navigate their world better and cope with issues that confront them with a new confidence.”

The partnership comes with the support of Vodafone’s 2,000 employees, who have pledged to raise additional much needed funds for Childline through a range of fundraising activities over the course of the partnership.

See www.vodafone.ie/foundation.