AS we approach the one year anniversary of the first lockdown announcement, there has been a lot of reflection about the effects the past 12 months have had on us all.

And it is easy and perfectly understandable to dwell on all that has been lost. It is fair to say we have been irrevocably shaped by this pandemic, whether personally or professionally. But a friend of mine put a really interesting post on Facebook recently, listing all the new things she’d done or learnt over the past 12 months, for example hobbies and new virtual games she’d played with her family that she may not have done otherwise. That post made me think about my own reasons to be positive and thankful.

Sadly, somethings have not changed; abuse and neglect doesn’t stop for a pandemic. But, and it is a big but, our wonderful fundraising supporters have still been here, finding new ways to raise funds so in turn we can be here for every child who needs us. When their coffee mornings, jumble sales or special events were cancelled, they found new ways, a lot of them virtual, to keep fundraising. On Saturday March 20 hundreds of our supporters will take part in a virtual event supporting Childline and our other services helping children who might be suffering their darkest hours as the days get brighter. The Walk for Children calls on people to walk, run or jog five kilometres on March 20, or a date that works for you, alone or with friends and family, in accordance with Government guidelines. There’s still time to get involved, or you can sign up on the day. Registration is £10, and we hope everyone who takes part can raise £100 or as much as you can. Everything raised from the Walk for Children will go to Childline and our NSPCC children’s services.

Ninety per cent our funding comes from the public. I’m sure the enthusiasm of all those coming forward to support our work will help us make 2021 a better year for children. And while it’s been a difficult start to this year too, events like Walk for Children show we can do so much when we join together, even if we have to keep a distance. For many children, uncertainty from the pandemic has taken a toll on their mental health, while others have felt trapped in unsafe homes, cut off from usual support networks.

We also know the fallout of money trouble and work worries can overload parents, making it harder to give care and attention to their children. Many people are still feeling the pressure. We know it’s hard, and we’re here to support families and lighten the load where we can. But if we work together, we can all get through this. You’re not alone.

* To find out how you can sign up for The Walk for Children, or to find out about our many other fundraising opportunities or even how to volunteer for the charity, go to