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Barnardos works with children and families in the heart of local communities.
In 2017, Barnardos worked with a total of 15,347 children and parents, providing seven early intervention services for children, twenty Family Support projects operating in locations across the country, and three Teen Parents programmes.
We also provided a range of specialist programmes such as a Guardian Ad Litem service, a Post Adoption Advice Service, a Bereavement Counselling Service, Roots of Empathy (a school based programme delivered in the classroom), and Wizards of Words (a paired reading programme in which older volunteers to read with children aged 7-9).
All of our services work to improve the lives of children and their parents so that they can continue to thrive long after our work with them is completed.
Each year Barnardos works with thousands of children to help change their lives. Sophie is just one of them...
Sophie is just 5 years old, and her whole world is the narrow space between two beds.
For nearly a year and a half now Sophie and her mam, Aisling, have been living in emergency accommodation as they have no home to call their own. Their family circumstances are complicated, it’s just the two of them now. Sophie’s mam wants to do the best for her daughter, she has always been her first priority.
On bad days, they go for long walks to get out of the cramped conditions they now called home. Sophie’s mam tried make the situation an adventure for her by reading Sophie the story of Eloise, who lived in a room “on the tippy-top floor” of a hotel in New York. She told Sophie that only special little girls get to live in a hotel.
For a while this worked, however it wasn’t long before the reality of their situation began to take its toll on them. There was nowhere for Sophie to play, nor any other children for her to play with. Unfortunately there were others living in emergency accommodation that were struggling with their own issues and to protect her from witnessing anything bad, Sophie was rarely allowed to leave their small room.
Thankfully Barnardos was able to help.
Sophie was enrolled in her local Barnardos After School Group. Working on a one to one basis with Sophie helped us ensure that she understood what was happening, and how to express her feelings appropriately. We have watched her get her confidence back and her mam has seen a big difference in her.
We supported Sophie’s mam and helped her get an emergency payment to purchase a mini fridge and hotplate so she could make more nutritious meals for them both. Where we were really able to make a difference though is through the kind of developmental support we offer children like Sophie.
We couldn’t organise a new home for them – but we could help make changes to improve their lives despite their living conditions.