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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Free pan-European helpline numbers confirmed for UK

Ofcom has confirmed the first organisations that’ll be using special pan-European '116' helpline telephone numbers in the UK. These numbers will allow anyone travelling around Europe to access similar services by calling the same six-digit memorable number in any country they visit.

Earlier this year 116000 was announced as a national hotline for missing children in all EU countries, 116111 as a child helpline and 116123 as an emotional support helpline.

Ofcom says it’s now selected the following UK organisations:
Missing People will use 116 000 for a missing children helpline,
the NSPCC will use 116 111 for its ChildLine service, and
Samaritans will use 116 123 for an emotional support helpline.

The new 116 numbers will run alongside existing helpline numbers; calls to these three 116-prefixed numbers will be free of charge in the UK, whether made from a fixed line, mobile or public phone box. They’re expected to be introduced next year. [Ofcom news release]

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