A CARDIFF couple celebrating 50 years of marriage will be funding Childline for an entire day to make their special anniversary an ‘unforgettable’ day for many children. Volunteers from the NSPCC-run service counsel children and young people from across the UK about anything that matters to them from 12 Childline bases, including two in Wales.

Long-term supporters of the child protection charity, Alan and Maggie Peterson are funding Childline for a whole day on Saturday 5 June as part of the charity’s One Unforgettable Day initiative and to coincide with their 50th wedding anniversary.

The couple has supported the NSPCC for decades and both have sat on its fundraising appeal board in Wales helping the charity, which relies on the public for 90% of its income, to raise crucial funds.

Maggie says: “The NSPCC has been here for children during what has been, for many, the toughest year of their lives.

“The last year has been difficult and as we have all struggled with different aspects of this pandemic it is children who have undoubtedly borne the hidden cost of the crisis.

“Having spent time before the pandemic at Childline bases, meeting many volunteers as well as the service’s founder Dame Esther Rantzen, we view this service as critical for children.”

Maggie sat on the appeal board during the charity’s Full Stop Campaign following its launch in 1999, whilst Alan became the chair of the board in April 2016 – raising £3.7m for the charity over a three-year period. He was recognised for his services to charitable fundraising by the Queen, receiving an OBE in the 2019 New Year’s honours list.

In October of the same year, the Petersons became voluntary Vice Presidents of the NSPCC at its annual council meeting.

Supporter Fundraising Manager for NSPCC Cymru/Wales, Emma Brennan says: “Alan and Maggie are extremely dedicated and passionate about ending cruelty to children and have both spent considerable time getting to know our volunteers, staff members and supporters to see how together we can best make a positive impact for children in Wales.

“Marking their Golden Wedding by donating £30,000 to fund Childline for a day is a reflection of their characters and their unwavering dedication to our cause – preventing abuse and protecting children and young people.

“We are immensely grateful for Alan and Maggie’s continued support, helping us to make a difference to the lives of children, and we wish them many congratulations on their fifty years of marriage.”

Childline hears from children every day who are being abused, suffering from mental health issues or struggling to cope. Since April 2020, almost 90,000 counselling sessions have been delivered to children and young people across the UK about mental wellbeing and abuse.

It’s the second year in a row that the couple has sponsored One Unforgettable Day, by donating £30,000 to fund the Childline service for a whole day.

Alan says: “Maggie and I have chosen to mark our Golden Wedding anniversary on 5th June by gifting a day’s running costs for Childline across the UK, through the ‘One Unforgettable Day’ gift option.

“Maggie, our son Hywel and I have enjoyed knowing that when we have chosen to gift ‘One Unforgettable Days’ to mark special occasions in our lives, we are also helping hundreds of children when they have nowhere else to turn to. It really makes a special day for us, unforgettable for many children.

“Having done previously, we are pleased to provide the critical financial support for this service and hope others who can may replicate our efforts.”

Alan and Maggie will be celebrating their anniversary with family and friends and have requested donations for Childline via their JustGiving page in lieu of any gifts they may receive.

Individuals or businesses keen to find out more about how they can help the NSPCC still be here for children and young people by funding Childline for a day can visit nspcc.org.uk/100days or call 020 3772 9615 for more information. As part of its ‘FT 100 Unforgettable Days Campaign’ and partnership with The Financial Times, the NSPCC is hoping to secure funding from individuals and businesses to fund Childline for 100 days.

Childline is available for young people on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk

Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000. Adult victims of non-recent sexual abuse can also get in touch for support.