This September the NSPCC will be shining a spotlight on our wonderful staff, supporters and volunteers who have made it possible for the charity to be here for many thousands of children affected by the pandemic since lockdown began.

For example, our staff who have been reaching out to traumatised children trapped in abusive households or our Childline volunteers, who have been there for children worried about missing school, exam results stress or concerned for loved ones, even bereavement.

But this September, we are also not only making a big ask of the Government but also of readers and members of the public.

As we move from crisis to recovery, navigate our way through localised lockdowns and get our children back to school and routines, we need your help so that we can still be here for children.

We talk to families every day – we hear the pressures they’re under, how they continue to face the fallout, and the strain it’s putting on their lives.

This has been a difficult time for every one of us. But, through it all, many children have been the hidden victims – suffering abuse and neglect at home, increased risk online, or further pressures on their mental health. It’s even taken a toll on our youngest children, with an increase in children under 11 turning to our Childline service for help with mental health issues.

And, while many people are looking forward to a return to the ordinary, we know that extraordinary steps need to be taken for our children.

The Government needs to put the safety and wellbeing of our children alongside economy and health priorities in their recovery plans. But we all need to act now.

At the NSPCC and Childline, we need to be on the frontline to help children cope and recover, and we need to empower the adults in their lives to support and protect them, at a time when they too may be under immense pressure. We know that with the right help at the right time, these experiences don’t have to shape their lives.

We continue to adapt how we work on the frontline of child protection. Our Pregnancy in Mind service for example, in York and Bradford, quickly adapted when lockdown was imposed, so our practitioners could be there for expectant parents burdened with low mood, worry or stress.

The NSPCC’s Pregnancy in Mind service helps expectant mums and their partners to overcome challenges they may be facing and is now being run with virtual sessions on a one to one basis and in groups.

Pregnancy can have an untold impact on the mental health of parents-to-be anyway, with many struggling in silence with low level anxiety or depression.

But the pandemic changed our way of life overnight, and the continuing uncertainty with localised restrictions, coupled with financial worries will no doubt have added pressure on expectant parents at a time when they may have already been uncertain and worried about what to expect with the arrival of their baby.

Another way we have had to adapt is at Childline.

When lockdown was first imposed we had to work hard in order to still be that listening ear, and adjust our working environment, for example with no more shared headsets and social distancing observed in the counselling rooms.

We had to close the night service for the first time in our history and had a 30 per cent drop in volunteer hours, due to counsellors having to self-isolate.

But we are getting there. Thanks to the commitment of our staff and volunteers, there are now counsellors available live from 7.30am-midnight Monday to Friday. And 9am to midnight on Saturdays and Sundays.

But above all, we believe no child should be left to cope alone. If it matters to them, it matters to the NSPCC and Childline.

When they feel hopeless and need to talk about their worries, we’re here.

Whether going back to school feels scary, or like a relief and a chance to get help, we’re here.

When home isn’t a safe place, we’re here.

But all of this is only possible with your donations and support. You helped us be here before the pandemic, you helped us be here on the frontline throughout, and now we need your help so we can still be here, for every child.

So, we are asking you to stand with us.

Please visit our web page here and add your name to show your support.