14 Jun 2017
A nurse who also works as a Childline counsellor has raised nearly £800 by running her first Stirling marathon to raise funds for the vital NSPCC Scotland service.
Melissa Millson, 22, who is currently studying at Caledonian University in Glasgow to become a paediatric nurse, wanted to run the marathon to help support more children in need after volunteering at Childline.
Melissa, from Glasgow, who started at training as a Childline counsellor in January last year, said: “I’m delighted with the amount that I have managed to raise for Chidline. Everyone has been a great support to me in my fundraising efforts.
“I wanted to run for Childline as it’s such an important service in supporting children and young people. Becoming a counsellor has been a really rewarding experience and it’s a privilege to listen and talk to these strong, courageous young people that turn to us.
“The majority of calls that we take are mental health related such as they are being bullied or they are suicidal.
“I really think there needs to be more awareness of children’s mental health issues as it’s not prioritised enough. It’s is a huge step for children to realise that the issues and difficulties they are experiencing are not their fault and they deserve support.”
Melissa, who ran her first marathon in the historical city of Stirling on Sunday 21 May, said: “I’ve always wanted to run a marathon and this was ideal as the setting was amazing.
“I got lots of encouragement from friends and family. I also work in Starbucks so I organised bucket collections there too. Everyone has been so generous.
“At the moment Childline can support three out of four children that come to us. I want to help make it four.”
Sara Ling, NSPCC Scotland community fundraising manager said: “Melissa set herself an incredible challenge and we really appreciate her amazing fundraising efforts for Childline. She has done amazingly well.
“Childline is a free, private and confidential service that provides an invaluable outlet to children and young people to discuss anything from everyday worries to serious concerns about family, friends or any element of their life.
“It is a major part of the NSPCC’s work and we hope Melissa’s fantastic fundraising will inspire others to help us fight for every childhood.”
Figures published last year show Childline provided more than 300,000 counselling sessions to children over the phone, via email and in one-to-one online chat.