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Former Liverpool Childline counsellor appears on Alan Titchmarsh show

1 year ago

Former Liverpool Childline counsellor appears on Alan Titchmarsh show
Alan Titchmarsh

The appearance comes as Childline is recruiting new counsellors after a fall in volunteers since lockdown.

A former Childline counsellor has had their garden transformed through an appearance on the TV show Love Your Garden, which is hosted by Alan Titchmarsh.

The latest episode of the ITV show featured Conrad and Pauline Toohey. Conrad was a counsellor with Childline in Liverpool from 2014 to 2018, starting with the NSPCC-run service after nearly three decades of working as a nurse with the NHS.

Conrad medically retired from his NHS career because of his deteriorating eyesight, but volunteering with Childline helped his confidence after that setback. He left the service in 2018 to give him more time to look after his family.

For the episode, Alan Titchmarsh and his team visited the Wirral to create a “jungle-inspired” garden for the couple.

Conrad and Pauline's garden
Conrad and Pauline’s garden

Conrad said:

“Pauline and I are really ecstatic with how the team worked so hard to give us an amazing space in our garden. It’s so full of life and a great place to unwind and relax.

“I really benefitted personally during my four years with Childline. It helped me immensely with leaving behind my nursing career and the responsibilities of that.

“I would like to thank the team at Childline for all they did for me during a very difficult time. It helped give me my self-belief back. The working environment was totally inclusive, thanks to things like assistive technology. I felt no different to the able-bodied volunteers.”

Love Your Garden has been a fixture on TV since 2011. The programme sees Alan Titchmarsh, David Domoney, Katie Rushworth and Frances Tophill visit towns and cities up and down the country, transforming people’s gardens.

Conrad and Pauline
Conrad and Pauline

Conrad added:

“I really valued my time at Childline and would highly recommend anyone who is able to spare some hours in the week to do so. While it is challenging at times, being a counsellor for Childline is an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Deborah Rigby, Childline Supervisor in the North West, said:

“Conrad was an excellent Childline counsellor and it was great to see him on the TV. His experience shows how volunteering can help and that we will always make accommodations for disabled people.

“Volunteer numbers have fallen since the pandemic, so we really could use new Childline counsellors. It’s a life-saving service. If you are interested, please get in touch.”

To find out more about volunteering with Childline click here, and if you would like to watch the episode on ITV click here.

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