Advice line for children faces financial crisis

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The children's charity ChildLine warns today that a cash crisis means it may have to scale down its operations. The charity, launched in 1986 by the television presenter Esther Rantzen, has only enough funds to last three months. An extra pounds 500,000 is needed to avoid cuts.

It runs a free national 24-hour helpline, but the hours may be reduced. Trained counsellors have given comfort and advice to more than 250,000 children and young people. It receives 2,500 calls a day on abuse, pregnancy, bullying and other problems.