UK children's charities announce merger

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Two of the UK's leading children's charities have announced that they are to merge.

ChildLine, formed in 1986 by the television presenter Esther Rantzen, is to become part of the NSPCC. The two charities have a combined annual income of over £125 million (213 million USD, 182 million Euro).

Sir Christopher Kelly, Chairman of NSPCC, said: "The NSPCC and ChildLine share the same vision for children and young people - we have always enjoyed a close working relationship. We are joining together now in the best interests of children. There is now an enormous opportunity to develop a more extensive service to help even more children. The two organisations are a natural fit. Esther and I are delighted to be in the position to reassure children and young people that ChildLine will be there for them today and tomorrow as it has been for nearly twenty years."

ChildLine has been in financial difficulties for some time. In July 2005 it launched an emergency appeal for an extra £1 million in order to keep its night service open.