The NGO, which specialises in providing a counselling and care service for vulnerable children, will be imposing widespread cuts and redundancies across the service. The charity, which confirmed the cuts in August amongst senior staff, had no plans to tell its workforce until December and have imposed non-disclosure agreements on key personnel. The reluctance of leading figures within ChildLine to tell staff what is going on has infuriated workers within the organisation. One said: "The thing which sticks in the throat is we have a semi-formal [union] stewards network who are almost the only people who know what's going on except senior management. "There is something about charities where they are incredibly secretive. They have even banned the chief exec's secretary from handling her mail just in case she finds out." ChildLine, founded by television personality Esther Rantzen in 1986, has been in financial crisis for most of this year. The leaked cuts follow warnings made in late July that the 24-hour service currently provided by the charity could close, significantly impacting on their ability to cope with approximately 2,300 calls daily. ChildLine chiefs blamed a drop-off in charitable donations in the wake of last year's tsunami in Asia and announced a new drive for donations. They claimed a drop of up to 30% in revenue after donations to the tsunami relief fund meant other charitable giving dried up. Staff were told that the charity was in financial trouble in an internal email on 19th July. Chief Executive Carol Easton said: "Trustees and Senior Management are discussing various options and will be formally consulting with staff and staff representatives over the next few months. In particular we are: - Reviewing the size and structure of the senior management team - Reviewing the structure of the administration function and support services throughout ChildLine." In August, a second email from Easton suggested optimistically that renewed fundraising appeals were having an effect, though admitted it would not solve the problem entirely. She said: "I wrote last before the launch of our emergency fundraising appeal and much has happened since. "We have recieved a fantastic amount of coverage - television, radio and press - and have so far raised an amazing £270,000. "Money is still coming in and the income has made a substantial difference to our immediate situation." But the financial crisis intensified later that month, with ChildLine falling into deeper financial trouble. Our source at the charity said that it wasn't just the tsunami that was to blame for the crisis. Among the cuts are nine of 13 directors' posts, raising questions over the need for so many executive positions in a charity that raised just £12.7m in 2004 and has only 268 full-time employees. Salaries amounted to £6.4m in 2004, with the charity's top two executives receiving up to £59,999 and £79,999. In the summer 60% of those employees voted on trade union recognition. Following a 91 per cent vote in favour, Amicus became the trade union at ChildLine. Tina Mackay, Amicus Regional Officer, commented: "Here begins a new era in ChildLine." ChildLine operates out of 11 counselling centres around the UK: Belfast, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Leeds, London, Nottingham, Manchester, Swansea, Rhyl, Birmingham and Newton Abbot.