Generous Leeds firm raises £500,000 for kids' charity

Kind-hearted staff and clients at a Leeds firm have gone beyond the call of duty to raise more than £500,000 for vulnerable children.

The donation from Towergate Insurance, based in the city centre, will mean an extra 323 extra volunteer counsellors for children's charity, ChildLine.

Dress-down days, charity walks and auctions were among the activities organised to raise the cash.

Staff even walked around the boundary of Yorkshire and asked celebrities to donate memorablia for one auction, which featured a special prize from the England 1966 World Cup winning team.

The new counsellors – taking the total to 1,500 – will help an extra 65,000 children make direct contact with ChildLine, in addition to the 473.000 calls answered last year.

Towergate's regional marketing director Jonathan Webb said: "For many

children who call, it's the first time they've tried to tell someone what they are experiencing.

"So with an additional 323 counsellors on board, we are helping to answer every call and never leave a child feeling afraid or alone."

Demand is so high, a third of children who call ChildLine are unable to get through. The number of calls is expected to multiply as more children understand they have someone to confide in".

Currently, figures reveal that just 25 per cent of children who suffer abuse tell anyone.

ChildLine says its goal is to answer every call, email or text from every child who needs help.

The charity's president Esther Rantzen said: "The moneyTowergate has donated to charities has transformed the lives of thousands of children who had no one else to help and given up hope."

Police are appealing for information.

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