published Oct 29th 2016 | last updated Nov 2nd 2016
As always, my opinion in PURPLE, links in BLUE all else quoted from source
Dame Esther Rantzen called for more people to volunteer for Childline after visiting Glasgow and Edinburgh to mark the 30th anniversary of the vital service.
To celebrate the special birthday the Childline founder visited the Scottish Parliament on yesterday evening where she met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Deputy Presiding Officer, Christine Grahame MSP and Minister for Child Care and Early Years, Mark McDonald MSP.
Pupils from Gallowhill Primary School, in Paisley, who received the NSPCC Childhood Champion Award earlier this year, also attended the event and were given a special award from Dame Esther.
The following day she visited Childline’s Glasgow base to thank volunteer counsellors, fundraisers and supporters including Scotmid. READ IN FULL
Childline is good Nic: Charity crusader reckons Scotland’s children are in good hands
CHARITY crusader Dame Esther Rantzen reveals how a heart-to-heart with Nicola Sturgeon this week left her convinced Scotland’s children are in good hands. The ChildLine creator met the First Minister to mark the 30th anniversary of the 24-hour counselling service for kids and young people. And Nicola opened up about her fears for Scotland’s new generation in the digital age.
Telly legend Esther — who had Margaret Thatcher’s full backing when the service was launched in 1986 — explained:
“It is very heartening that whatever their political views, politicians actually understand our concerns. I did say to the First Minister that the table we were sitting at was one of the most important pieces of furniture in the household for families. She agreed and told me that at the end of each day she would sit with her family and all have their tea together. I think we need to create that routine at home again, instead of people going off on their own with a screen and a tray of food. Everyone should have a screen ban when they sit around the table every evening. I used to have a family supper where everybody talked about their day. Even if nothing much happened, it doesn’t matter. Nicola says her fear is that kids will forget how to express their feelings. And she is absolutely right. She is very, very clued in.”
Oooh.. Nikki, you are treadin on VERY thin ice sweetheart. This loving, caring side really is an utter piss take.. WHAT ABOUT THE DOCHERTY KIDS? They haven’t had tea wi their ma & da for EIGHT FUKIN MONTHS!
Ah, but i forgot, they don’t count do they? They are only Scots kids. Had they been Australian, you woulda BENT OVER BACKWARDS tae help them no?!
CHILDLINE HELP APPEAL ISSUED BY DAME ESTHER RANTZEN 27th Oct 2016
Dame Esther Rantzen has urged more people to volunteer for Childline as the service she founded marks its 30th anniversary.
She made the call as she visited the charity’s Glasgow base, which has handled 640,799 counselling sessions since it opened in 1990.
Dame Esther said that children today need the service as much as they did when she founded it in 1986.
While abuse, bullying and neglect are still among the most common problems, issues such as cyber-bullying have also emerged in recent years.
She said: “I’ve always believed that children need a service that they can contact when they need to. I think children will always need a service like this. Although some things have improved, I think we’re more aware of things like sexual abuse and children find it a bit easier to talk about now and ask for help now, but when it’s in the family it’s still very difficult. Some new dangers have arrived, like sexting, cyber-bulling, and problems that I don’t remember children bringing to us in 1986 like self-harm and eating disorders which have become almost an epidemic, and the really worrying thing is the number of suicidal young people has doubled in the last five years.”
She believes social media may be contributing to the pressures young people feel, saying:
“I think the illusion of having 1,000 friends doesn’t make up for the fact that there’s nobody you can talk to. Please, can we in the adult world make time and space for the children around us because British children seem less happy than children elsewhere in the world and it’s up to us to make sure that they are feeling confident and loved and secure.”
Dame Esther’s visit to Glasgow was part of a UK-wide tour of Childline centres to mark the free helpline’s 30th birthday while on Wednesday she visited the Scottish Parliament and met First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and other MSPs. READ IN FULL
Dame Esther Rantzen has demanded the BBC and other broadcasters create dedicated phone lines so that staff can report celebrities they suspect of sexual abuse. The ChildLine founder spoke out after a leaked report into the Jimmy Savile scandal revealed he abused children on BBC property for decades because of a culture of ‘deference’ to celebrities. The former That’s Life star said abuse was still a problem in the industry and added:
‘It is blindingly obvious you need to create and publicise a helpline which junior employees feel they can trust when reporting bullying and sexual misconduct anonymously. Staff have to be given explicit permission to whistleblow and the criticism is that the BBC is still an organisation where it is difficult to tell the boss something that might cost them their job. I’m sure it will happen because Tony Hall is a director-general who deeply cares about the welfare of his staff, but the BBC is not alone in having to deal with this.’ READ IN FULL
GRANDFATHER who repeatedly molested a five-year-old girl in a swimming pool at Esther Rantzen’s country home was convicted of indecent assault yesterday. Robert Gillings, 63, who was granted bail pending sentencing, was a guest at the television personality’s holiday home in the New Forest, Hampshire, when he assaulted the girl as she played in the pool, Guildford Crown Court was told. Ms Rantzen was not at the house at the time.
The victim told the jury that the defendant had also assaulted her before the trip to the New Forest. ‘He had said if I told mummy he would kill her,’ she said.
Gillings denied the allegations and claimed that Ms Rantzen’s television work on behalf of abused children must have put ideas into the girl’s head. He said of the swimming pool incident: ‘We were playing tag at the time, swimming backwards and forwards. My fingers caught hold of her bikini just at the bottom or the side somewhere. It was just a bit of fun – it was such an insignificant thing.’
However, the jury of seven women and five men returned a majority verdict after six hours, convicting the defendant of two charges of indecent assault, one of which took place at Ms Rantzen’s house. But they cleared him of two other charges of indecent assault, one in which the girl claimed he had molested her in Ms Rantzen’s changing room.
She said: ‘My daughter suggested we should get an exorcist. It is a happy place for us, or has been. I feel that this place which my family and I have loved – and these children have loved – has indeed been blighted.’
The court was told that the victim’s mother used to work for Ms Rantzen and had been invited to use the country house for a break last summer. The family, who were good friends of Gillings and his wife, invited the retired couple down for the day. The assault took place as a barbeque was being prepared. READ IN FULL
Esther: My shock over my MP lover’s links to Elm House paedophile ring July 19th 2014