A Brief History of Childline Gibraltar
The ideologies which underpin the development of Childline Gibraltar are derived from two major national organisations in the United Kingdom – The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and ChildLine UK.
On the 28th June 2006, at an event held at The Mount, Childline Gibraltar was jointly launched by Dame Esther Rantzen (ChildLine UK) and John Cameron (NSPCC). Eighteen months of research, consultations and hard work finally came to fruition when our Free Telephone Helpline went live that evening, at an office provided rent-free by Saccone & Speed.
Like the NSPCC and ChildLine UK, Childline Gibraltar was started by a group of individuals who believed that there was a need for this service in Gibraltar. The members of the original steering group, many of whom went on to become the first Board of Trustees, included – Lady Richards; the wife of the former Governor of Gibraltar Sir Francis Richards, Les Roberts, Barbara Sellors, Tita Stagnetto, Emily Olivero, Clare Borrell, Alison Parsons, Nalanie Chellaram, John and Marilyn Morris and the late Eric Pozo.
John Morris was a retired NSPCC Inspector who lived in Gibraltar at the time with his wife Marilyn. Many of us regard John and Marilyn, as the ‘father and mother of Childline Gibraltar’, for without his in depth knowledge and experience of child protection and Marilyn’s meticulous attention to administrative details, Childline Gibraltar would have never got off the ground.
Building on the principles and experience gained by the NSPCC and ChildLine UK and maintaining close working links with both these organisations, Childline Gibraltar continues serving our local community and has responded to over 6.000 service users in its first 10 years of operation.