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Esther Rantzen to give a guest speech
ESTHER Rantzen, the president of ChildLine, will be visiting Worcestershire next month as the guest of one of the charity’s local groups.
At the meeting she will be reunited with Colin Butler, the president of Malvern and Three Counties Friends of ChildLine, who has been with the charity since its opening night in October 1986.
He and Esther are together the last remaining volunteers from that opening night who are still manning the phone lines today.
Now the local group has organised a fund-raising quiz night next month, and Mr Butler has arranged for Ms Rantzen to be the special guest.
He said: “We’re delighted to have Esther as our guest, although I admit I did pull a few strings to arrange it.
“It should be fascinating to hear what she has to say.”
The quiz night is on Friday, November 30, at the Pear Tree Inn, Smite, near Worcester.
Ms Rantzen will give a short speech and sign copies of her recent book, Running Out of Tears, which records the stories of some of the first children, now adults, who were helped by ChildLine in its early years.
Malvern Community Bookshop will have a stand at the event and will be selling copies of the book. There will also be a licensed bar and a grand raffle.
Mr Butler said: “I’ve read the book, and it’s emotionally challenging, but very interesting. I have actually met some of the people whose stories are told in it.”
Tickets need to be booked in advance and can be reserved by contacting 01684 560219 or malvernfoc@ btinternet.com.
This year is the 25th anniversary of the founding of ChildLine, and the Malvern group held a birthday dinner at Café Zam Zam, with 63 people in attendance and £553.26 raised for the cause.
Mr Butler said: “We would like to thank the staff for their hard work on a very busy evening and also everyone who bought tickets and came along to support us.”
Volunteers will be collecting at Morrisons today (Friday) and tomorrow.
Earlier this week Ms Rantzen denied rumours she was facing the sack from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood after Shy Keenan, who founded Phoenix Survivors, a charity which supports child sex abuse victims, claimed she had warned Ms Rantzen about the Jimmy Savile paedophile rumours.
Ms Rantzen said she could not recall the conversation.