A Sidcup children's home, which closed in 1989, is being investigated over claims residents were abused by Jimmy Savile.

Southwark Council and the NSPCC have set up a helpline for former residents of the Hollies children's home in Burnt Oak Lane.

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The Hollies was run by Southwark Council from 1965 until it was closed in 1989.

The Department for Education has requested local authorities investigate information about Jimmy Savile dating back to the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

A council spokesman said: "We will cooperate in full with this request to establish what happened at the Hollies and have set up an independent investigation to do so.

"We will also support any former residents affected by this announcement.

"Allegations of abuse at the Hollies have previously been taken very seriously and a joint police and council investigation from 2000 to 2002 led to prosecutions and convictions.

"A number of former residents were offered support and counselling throughout and at the time these investigations were felt to have been thorough.

"However, we will now look again with fresh eyes at what we did and if anyone contacts us, via the helpline, with fresh information then we will of course look at that."

The founder of the Hollies Children's Home Reunion Group has set up an alternative helpline, saying victims do not trust the authority who "allowed the abuse".

Pauk Krawczynski, aged 66, who was born in Elephant and Castle and now lives in Ludham, Great Yarmouth, said: "We have a trained counsellor on board.

"What we are offering is support and advice by people that lived in care so we know the system. We are here to help."

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Mr Krawczynski, who was taken into care aged three after his parents separated, was a resident at the Hollies from 1952 to 1965 and says he is "not shocked" by the investigation.

Describing both physical and sexual abuse by staff and visitors during his time there, Mr Krawczynski said: "Some of the punishments by some of the staff were very harsh.

"Some of the residents have said it themselves, they were shy children who would come into the home and be crying, the only attention they got was from these people who would abuse them.

"There were 'aunties and uncles' who would come and take children out for the day, buy them sweets and eventually it would turn into abuse."

Former children's home residents can call the reunion group helpline on: 077477 71130 or email Paul through the websites hollieskids.co.uk or childrens-homes.co.uk

The Southwark Council helpline number is 0808 800 500. People can also e-mail help@nspcc.org.uk