IF you're not aware of the NSPCC helpline, it's essentially a way for adults to contact our practitioners to confidentially report any worries or concerns they may have about a young person.

It's also a great resource for parents and carers to seek advice on how to help their children with issues or topics they might be struggling with.

Like Childline, the service is there whenever people need it, and our trained practitioners offer support, advice, and - in circumstances when children are at risk - make referrals to external agencies like local authorities or police.

Figures released in the last few days showed that last year the helpline made more than 2,250 referrals to local agencies in Yorkshire and the Humber, following concerns about children reported by members of the public. On average, that's six referrals every day for concerns such as physical, emotional and sexual abuse, and neglect. Referrals across the region accounted for around 10per cent of referrals made by our helpline across the UK.

Worryingly, more than two-thirds of all NSPCC referrals in the UK related to children aged nine or under, we have estimated that around half a million children suffer abuse every year in the UK.

Facts like these remind us how important the NSPCC and its services are. But, as a charity, we rely on public donations for the majority of our funding which leads me to another topic I'd like to speak about this week - Childhood Day. 

This is our flagship event which aims to raise funds to support our services, but also to raise awareness of how vital it is that we look out for children and young people and help protect them from neglect and abuse. It’s also an opportunity to remind the Government of the importance of ensuring the systems in place to protect children and young people are robust and resourced enough.

Childhood Day is also a good opportunity for children in schools, and adults in workplaces, to participate in The Big Breaktime, having fun, playing games and fundraising while remembering the positive elements of childhood.

In coming weeks you'll probably start seeing advertisements online, TV and social media calling on you to support Childhood Day.

Whether you're contacting our helpline with concerns about a young person or fundraising, donating or volunteering for the NSPCC or Childline, you can play a role in helping us keep children and young people safe.

Childhood Day is on June 10. To find out more go to nspcc.org.uk

* Debra Radford is NSPCC Assistant Director for Yorkshire and the North East