How you are helping

Five-year-old Joshua lives with his Mammy, Clara, and his older sister, Amelia. Dad unfortunately left the family shortly after Joshua was born.

Joshua turned 5 years old in February and he is very excited to be starting Junior Infants this coming September. He literally talks a mile a minute when you ask him about it, it's very sweet!

He first came to Barnardos when he was just 3 and at that time, he, Clara and Amelia were living in shared accommodation. He was very small for his age, with poor muscle tone and delayed language skills.

Barnardos worked with Clara; discussing the challenges they were facing and identifying how best they could be supported. Joshua's Mammy told their project worker that she kept Joshua in a playpen for a lot of the day, because their accommodation was crowded and she worried for Joshua’s safety. This had impacted on Joshua’s physical and emotional development.

Working with Barnardos, Clara was able to receive parenting and practical support. Joshua began attending our Early Years service where he was guaranteed a warm meal each day, as well as structure to his day and support with his development needs. And he has come on in leaps and bounds. When a new child comes to the service he attends, Joshua likes to take on the role of minder. He likes to show the new child around and will help them settle in – he has such a good heart. He loves playing with the other children in his group and is often found wearing a chef's hat, cooking pretend dinners in the play kitchen. He tells everyone that when he grows up he is going to be like Donna, the cook in his service.

We believe Joshua will be whatever he wants to be when he grows up, and we can't wait to hear how he gets on with school this year.

Our Early Years services work with very young children with a high level of need and work towards getting them ready to start 'Big School'. It is thanks to your support of Barnardos Big Toddle that children like Joshua are being given the support they need to overcome the challenges that life has presented them, at such a young age. It levels the playing field, and gives them the same opportunities as every other child, to have the best and brightest future.

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Call our Toddle Team on 01-453 0355 and help make a difference.

To learn more about our work or how your donations are spent, please read our published and independently audited Annual Report and Financial Statements here.