‘Merry Little Christmas’ carol concert in aid of Childline.

Yesterday in the evening, (13th December), President of the NSPCC and Patron of Childline – The Countess of Wessex attended ‘Merry Little Christmas’ carol concert at St Paul’s Cathedral in aid of Childline. HRH was joined by Dame Esther Rantzen, founder of the child protection charity Childline, which she set up in 1986, and The Silver Line, designed to combat loneliness, which she set up in 2012.

courtesy of the NSPCC

Hundreds of people watched performances from an A-list congregation, including Sherlock actor Martin Freeman, Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) and James Norton (Happy Valley, Grantchester and War & Peace), who have whisked the audience away to idyllic Christmas scenes of roaring log fires and stockings laden with presents during readings of their favourite Christmas books and poems. Also TV broadcaster and journalist Fiona Phillips and The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson read extracts from their favourite Christmas children’s books. The Countess also delivered a reading of The Christmas Story during the service.

courtesy of the NSPCC

Also joining in the celebrations to mark Childline’s 30th anniversary was 2016 BBC Young Chorister of the Year, Angus Benton who sang traditional Christmas carols and acclaimed tenor Russell Watson who performed with The St Paul’s Cathedral Consort. Later in the evening Strictly Come Dancing star Anton du Beke hosted a special gala dinner in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral that was attended by The Countess.

courtesy of the NSPCC

The carol service evoked feelings of nostalgia for the charity as the night Childline launched – 30 October 1986 – volunteers answered calls in a tiny office in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral. Yesrday, more than £170,000 was raised for the charity.

Dame Esther Rantzen, President of Childline, said: “I must thank the wonderful stars who donated their time and talent to create this extraordinary celebration of Childline’s 30th Birthday. Over the last 30 years Childline has helped millions of children – saving lives, protecting them from pain and providing vital support and advice. But we could not have helped a single child without the support of the public, who have donated crucial funds to enable us to reach out to the nation’s most vulnerable children.

Childline marked its 30th birthday on Sunday 30th October. Throughout the last three decades Childline has been there for more than four million children and the demand for help and advice continues to grow, with more than 300,000 counselling sessions being delivered in 2015/16. To learn more about this charity visit this link. Childline joined the NSPCC in February 2006, and extra resources were pledged in an attempt to ensure that no child’s call goes unanswered.

Outfit & jewellery:
GABRIELA HEARST Isa collarless shearling jacket.
Oscar de la Renta Women’s Long-sleeved Lace Dress.
Fun Hoops from Heavenly Necklaces.  
UFO green suede clutch.

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