Crisis call led Carrie to change of career

Carrie Zeiler, who has embarked on a new career after volunteering with Childline.
Carrie Zeiler, who has embarked on a new career after volunteering with Childline.

An Aberdeenshire Childline worker has told how she gave up her job of ten years to work with the charity full time.

Carrie Zeiler, from Newmachar, volunteered for Childline while also working as a senior administrator at oil company Halliburton in Aberdeen.

But her voluntary role became full time after she became frustrated with the financial targets she had to meet in her day job.

She said: “I’d worked for some time in my job and was feeling out of place. The industry culture in oil and gas is pretty fraught - there is a lot of pressure to make money for clients.

“I had a challenging childhood, and both my parents had died by the time I was 20. This meant I found myself feeling very frustrated with the focus on profit. My values were out of step with my environment.

“I decided to try to meet new people and I thought volunteering could be the right move for me. I discovered the volunteer counsellor role with Childline through the Volunteer Scotland website and I decided to give it a go.

“I finished training in November 2006 and I have never looked back – it was definitely the right decision for me.”

Carrie said that her life has changed unexpectedly and significantly after receiving a contact from a young person who needed help.

She continued: “The child involved faced incredible challenges such as neglect, physical, sexual and emotional abuse. They cared for their younger siblings as their parent was deep in drug and alcohol addiction and they were in desperate need of support. T

“That young person’s needs were complex and high risk and they really needed the support of Childline. It’s those difficult calls I took as a volunteer counsellor that inspired me to retrain as a social worker and then apply for the supervisor post.

“Working for Childline is different in every way. A successful day at the office at my old job involved getting a tool sent to a rig on time, whereas here it literally can be life-saving.”

In 2016/17 Childline volunteers delivered an estimated 1900 counselling sessions to children living in Aberdeenshire and anyone interested in following Carrie’s lead can find out more at www.nspcc.org.uk/what-you-can-do/volunteering-nspcc-childline/volunteer-childline-helpline/.

The charity’s Aberdeen base will also hold an open day on September 8.

For further details on the event email kerri.stewart@nspcc.org.uk.