Spring 2023

Tommy is carrying so much on his little shoulders

Tommy is carrying so much on his little shoulders

Imagine you start your day by looking through empty presses. Looking for something to give your young children for breakfast.

You wonder how the oldest will get to school that day. Will the neighbours be able to drop him off again? You know your own petrol tank is nearly empty, and you need to bring the little one to the doctor later today.

You check the post, praying for no bills. The pile on the kitchen counter is getting higher and higher.

Tommy has his school tour coming up. All his friends are going and he is constantly talking about it. You don’t have the heart to tell him he won’t be able to go.

You look at them and want to give them everything. They deserve so much. But you’ve got so little left to give.

That’s what it feels like being Lucinda. She would do anything for her little boys. But she needs your help.

Donate today

Lucinda has two gorgeous young children, Tommy, seven, and Mark who is nearly one.

Mark has ongoing health issues and Lucinda needs to frequently bring him to the hospital for appointments and check-ups. She and the children’s Dad hadn’t been getting on, and the pressure of their situation ended up causing the couple to separate.

Lucinda was left to look after two young children on her own, and with Mark’s health not improving, she had to quit her job. She had been working all her life, now she was finding herself with no job and no support. Financial difficulties started to creep in. So she contacted Barnardos.

Her project worker, Mary, started dropping some food packs at Lucinda’s house. The most urgent thing was to make sure the children and their Mam had access to enough food every day.

Mary identified that Lucinda was having difficulties with money management. She would buy something nice for the children as soon as she’d get a bit of money. Just so she could see them smile again. A few minutes of “normal”. Then the following week she would be stuck to pay for food, bills or school supplies.

The cost-of-living crisis is putting additional strain on Lucinda. Despite Lucinda doing her best to cut back on electricity use and only turning on the heating when absolutely necessary, she doesn’t have the financial capacity to cover these increases. How do you choose between letting your children go cold or go hungry?

The financial stress Lucinda was experiencing was such that her mental health was deteriorating. And this was having an effect on the children. Tommy was showing signs of severe anxiety. He would get knots in his stomach and stop eating. He was also becoming quieter and quieter. But then when things would get too overwhelming, he would lash out at his mam.

Help untie the knots in Tommy’s stomach

Donate today

Lucinda and Tommy are both attending Barnardos to receive the practical and emotional help they need. But this support cannot happen without the generosity of our kind supporters.

And there are so many more children like him, who are experiencing adversity and trauma, who are lacking the essentials, who are being exposed to addiction and domestic violence, who are going to bed hungry, cold or scared. Life is unpredictable and any of us could find ourselves in a situation where we need a little help at some point. The little things become big things and we might not know where to turn.

A gift today can change not only Tommy’s future, but many other children’s.

Please help provide a place for families to turn to when they need help. Please help us to continue to be there for vulnerable children with a donation today or by setting up a monthly gift.

Because Childhood lasts a lifetime.


While Tommy’s story is true, we have changed all names in order to protect the family’s identity. Photos used are models.