National children’s charity Childline is searching for a director
of press and public relations to replace Wendy Toms, who will be
retiring later this year.
The role includes supporting the organisation’s fund-raising drives,
working alongside the policy, research and information department, and
overall responsibility for media relations. Lobbying activity is handled
by the policy department.
Toms runs the five-strong press team, which includes a senior press and
public relations manager, two press officers and a designer. She reports
to chief executive Valerie Howarth.
’On a normal day we handle about 40 press enquiries, and it can go up to
100 calls a day when a story breaks,’ Toms said. Childline is also
hoping to recruit its third press officer later in the year.
The charity, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in February, was
founded by television presenter Esther Rantzen as a helpline for abused
children. Last year more than 100,000 children called the free helpline
for the first time.
The organisation is primarily funded by private and company donations,
and the lack of resources means that only one third of the 10,000 calls
made to the charity each day can be answered.
Childline also campaigns to make children’s opinions and experiences
heard, particularly through producing research reports based on the
information received from callers.