WE are approaching the festive period, and children will soon be writing their letters to Santa.

While their faces will hopefully light up on Christmas Day when presents arrive, the NSPCC has a way to help light them up a little earlier, thanks to our Letters from Santa.

These are a nice way to make the season as special as possible for little ones, but also a fantastic way for us to help children for whom Christmas is not a magical time. On average, a child will contact Childline by phone or web chat every 45 seconds this Christmas. We're calling for support to ensure the service can continue to support children and young people. One way to do this is to make a donation when ordering a Letter from Santa for your child.

This year's letters, available from the NSPCC website, include eight new designs to reflect more children's interests and have instructions to create origami from the letter itself.

Since Letter from Santa was launched in 2001, more than 3.3 million have been ordered by parents and carers, raising £19 million to support the NSPCC. Last year saw just over £1m raised by these letters.

The NSPCC relies on public donations for almost 90per cent of its funding and Letter from Santa is one great way of supporting us. There are also other ways to support us this festive season, such as taking part in this year's Walk for Children on December 22. We're asking people to get together with family, friends or pets to walk 5km. It costs £10 to sign up, and everyone who takes part will receive a fundraising pack.

As well as your local Christmas lights, you might also see, on your walk, a local landmark which has gone green for the NSPCC. We're asking buildings across the UK to light up in our signature colour in the run-up to the festive period to show that we're here for every child whenever they need support. We're still calling on sites to light up for us on or around December 22, so if you can help share our messaging on the darkest night of the year, we'd love to hear from you.

However you might choose to support us this festive period, it will be hugely appreciated. Christmas comes with huge expectations of happiness, love and fun. But for half a million children experiencing abuse a year, this couldn't be further from the truth. That's why it's so vital our Childline volunteers are available on the phone and online, taking calls from children and young people being abused, helping them feel less alone and saving them from immediate danger.