Stars from the world of showbiz came together on 27 November at a magical festive concert to raise funds for Childline this Christmas.
The NSPCC’s annual Merry Little Christmas concert returned for its 15th year at the historic Cadogan Hall in London’s Chelsea, with a sparkling performance by jazz singer Natalie Rushdie and readings from actor and producer Natalie Dormer, actress Patricia Hodge, and TV news presenter Sir Martyn Lewis.
Hosted by Andrea McLean, the enchanting event raised £41,000, which will help the charity’s volunteer counsellors be there for children over the Christmas period. The evening included a silent auction and Lindt reception.
Natalie Dormer, NSPCC’s Ambassador for Childline, said: “It’s a privilege to be part of this wonderful event for Childline again this year.
"Every year I’m truly inspired by young people’s courage and the crucial part Childline plays in supporting children every minute of the day – all year round, especially at Christmas. Please support the NSPCC this Christmas to help make a difference for children.”
Twin sopranos Classical Reflection and pianist James McConnel also performed, along with the young people’s choirs from Francis Holland Junior School and More House School, and the Knightsbridge Senior Chamber Choir.
The evening included a VIP reception, attended by audience members, performers and NSPCC CEO Sir Peter Wanless.
Childline Director Shaun Friel said: “For most of us, Christmas comes with huge expectations of happiness, love and fun. But for the half a million children experiencing abuse a year, this couldn’t be further from the truth. For these children, Christmas can mean being trapped at home with abusers.
“On average, a child will contact Childline by phone or web chat every 45 seconds this Christmas. That’s why Childline volunteers will be answering contacts every day and night, listening to children with no one else to contact, and helping children feel just a little less alone.”
There are other ways you can support Childline at Christmas too, from ordering your letter from Santa to getting involved in the NSPCC’s Christmas 5k Walk for Children or by purchasing gifts from the charity’s online festive shop. See nspcc.org.uk/christmas/ for details.
Childline is free to contact on 0800 1111. Childline counsellors take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from children and young people under 19. Childline counsellors are also available to speak to online through 1-2-1 chat and via email.