Ireland's Toddlers Run Wild!

Donal Skehan joins Barnardos to launch The Big Toddle for Barnardos sponsored by Danone

Posted on Tuesday 30 April 2019

Barnardos ambassador Donal Skehan was joined by Ireland’s littlest fundraisers to launch the Big Toddle for Barnardos sponsored by Danone - a half-mile sponsored walk for children under five. Since it began nearly half a million toddlers have toddled 250,000 miles to raise vital funds for vulnerable children their own age.

Barnardos currently works over 17,600 children and families in 41 centres across Ireland and the funds raised will support Barnardos Early Years services. Whether you’re a crèche, a parent or a childminder you can organise your own Big Toddle anytime in May or June by registering at - your support ensures that some of the youngest and most vulnerable children Barnardos works with are given the best possible start in life.

Barnardos Director of Fundraising, Mary Gamble said: “Toddle time is always a highlight for us here in Barnardos and with this year’s theme set as ‘Safari’ we think it might just be the wildest one yet! It’s so heart-warming to see children across Ireland taking their first steps towards helping those in need. The funds raised in the Big Toddle for Barnardos sponsored by Danone go directly towards our work with children in our Early Years services, children who have missed key developmental milestones in their life. The support of Danone, along with each and every little fundraiser who takes part across Ireland, is instrumental in ensuring we can continue this work, providing children with the bright futures they deserve.”

Barnardos Ambassador, Donal Skehan said:

“When Barnardos got in touch about coming on board as their Big Toddle Ambassador I jumped at the chance. As a first time father to a wonderful toddler, Noah, I am amazed to see how quickly they grow and learn and how important it is that they get what they need to reach each milestone – and Barnardos does such incredible work with children in this area. The Big Toddle for Barnardos is a fantastic way to raise funds for a good cause because it’s about being active with your little one, and most importantly – having fun! I love the safari theme this year and look forward to holding my own toddle with Sofie and Noah in the coming weeks in aid of Barnardos.”

Danone Corporate Affairs Director, Claire Mac Evilly said: “Danone are delighted to be the sponsor of the Big Toddle for Barnardos and are honoured to be working with Barnardos for 16 years. We’ve seen first-hand the impact Barnardos Early Years Work has on the little ones over the years, providing them with the opportunities they need to achieve the future they deserve. We would encourage everyone with toddlers in their lives to get involved; it’s a fantastic opportunity to spend time with the little people in your life while also helping others.”Nearly half a million children have taken part in the Big Toddle for Barnardos, sponsored by Danone over its lifetime and is now recognised as a first introduction into the world of fundraising for a generation of young people living in Ireland. To register for your Big Toddle Pack and to get more information check out

For further information, please contact:
Barnardos Press Office: 01 7080442 / 086 0445966
Rachel Boyce; 01 7080443
Trudy McCarthy; 01 7080423