Happy New Year 2023

Thank you for all you do for vulnerable children

Your kind support is changing lives. All around Ireland, the children attending our services are receiving the help they need, thanks to the kindness and incredible generosity of people like you.

Children like Lucy and her little brother Mark. Lucy, Mark and their Mam Sandra were sleeping on air mattresses in a shared house. Sandra couldn’t afford to turn on the heating and would often go hungry herself so the children could eat.

Thanks to your support, our project workers are helping the family seek a better accommodation solution, and in the meantime, we have provided some warm blankets and water bottles so they can keep warm, as well as food vouchers so Sandra can put food on the table. The children are taking part in the Barnardos “This is Me” programme where they can talk freely about how they feel, and learn the skills to cope with their anxiety.

And then there’s Paul, a father of four who was struggling to provide for his family after his wife sadly died. Paul brings his youngest to a Barnardos toddler group, which also allows him to meet with other parents and get advice from our project workers. Paul is receiving support for his own grief so he can be available for the children. We are also supporting him in the task of parenting four small children on his own, by providing advice around routines and behaviour. We have provided Paul and his children with food parcels as well as practical advice on budgeting.

And there are so many more children and families who, thanks to you, can start the new year with hope, knowing that they are not alone and that we are here for them.

In your own words… Supporters’ voices

We recently asking our loyal supporters (that’s you!) why you choose to donate to Barnardos. Your responses were overwhelmingly beautiful, here are some of the lovely reasons shared:

“I believe that every child should have the best possible start in life”

“Children are the most vulnerable in our society. A child should be surrounded with love and kindness. “

“because of the love, care and attention you give to vulnerable children and the support you provide to their parents”

“So that young school-going children have decent nutrition in their own home, be clean, warmly clothed and properly equipped for school, and that their parents can be helped to achieve this.”

“I think that childhood is such a special time and every child should have their needs and rights fulfilled so they can flourish”

“I understand the importance of helping children in need and the impact this can have on their future development.”

“Children are so vulnerable, they always need a helping hand and support, both physically and mentally.”

“Having a healthy childhood reduces the viscous cycle of social disadvantage in adulthood.”

“To be able to help the children’s parents too is great. Having someone to talk to.”

“I think kids that get help and guidance can become anything they want when they get older.”

Luke and Cliona’s story

Luke, 6, and his mam Cliona started attending Barnardos after experiencing violence in their home. They were both suffering from anxiety due to this past trauma and needed our help.

Cliona was in such a state of fear and upset herself, but she was focusing all her energy on Luke and didn’t take any time to look after herself. So her Barnardos project worker made her a self-care pack, which was aimed at the five senses. There was chocolate in there and herbal tea, for the taste and smell and sense of comfort they provided. There was hand cream and a journal to write in, and a nice body wash. She also showed Cliona how to practise mindfulness, with meditation and breathing techniques. We also helped her apply for allowances she was entitled to, but didn’t know how to go about applying for.

It was so helpful for Luke seeing his Mam get better. He himself started to feel safer and less anxious. One day he mentioned to their project worker that he would love to go to the cinema – he had never been. So we organised for him and his mam to go and watch a film together. Luke was just so excited! He even had popcorn!

Your support makes a real difference to so many children and parents like Luke and Cliona. Thank you.

 

On behalf of the thousands of children and families whose lives you’re helping to improve – THANK YOU!