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Barnardos Supported by Hosts Online Safety Gaming Awareness Webinar “Plugged in, Switched Off”

Barnardos children’s charity supported by hosted an online safety gaming awareness webinar on May 17th about the impact of gaming on children. Supported by, the event focused on practical, solution-based insights into the pros and cons of gaming.

Attendees heard from many experts in the field, including 

  • Richard Hogan, Psychotherapist & Author “Parenting the Screenager” 
  • Laura Higgins, Senior Director of Civility in Roblox 
  • Dirk Bosmans Director of Operations, PEGI – pan European game information 
  • Alice Mansergh, Managing Director of Google Customer Solutions, UK &Ireland 
  • Young people from WebWise Youth Panel     

Topics covered included: 

  • The pros and cons of gaming for children and young people    
  • Perspectives from young people on gaming    
  • How gaming can affect a child’s education   
  • Input from industry experts on regulations and reporting tools   
  • How parents can help keep their children safe while gaming    

Barnardos CEO Suzanne Connolly said: ‘This year’s webinar reflects what we’re hearing in our online safety workshops – that many young people love gaming and connecting with their friends. However, they also tell us that they can experience cyberbullying while playing games online and develop unhealthy habits like playing for long hours and losing track of time. Children need support from parents to set strong boundaries so they can learn how to game in a safe and appropriate way. We are calling on the gaming industry to have stronger wellbeing controls and moderators to help children have a safer experience. Our partnership with enables us to support teachers, schools, and parents so that children learn how to game online safely and protect themselves. It is so important for children to be provided with the right tools because childhood lasts a lifetime.’

Ryan Meade, Public Policy Manager, Google Ireland said: ‘We are delighted to host Barnardos for this very important discussion on gaming and online safety, which complements the Barnardos Online Safety Programme that we have supported for the last four years. Google and Barnardos have a shared goal to empower young people to be safe explorers of our digital world, and by working together we can reach more children, parents and teachers to support better internet education in Irish schools.’

The Barnardos Online Safety Programme delivers workshops in primary schools to children aged 8-12 about how to be safe online, as well as their parents. With support from, Barnardos have reached more than 39,000 children already this year.


Notes to Editor:

Watch the event back

For more information or if you would like to book an Online Safety Workshop please see here. For information on Barnardos services, please contact Barnardos Press Office: [email protected] / 086 0445966
Twitter: @Barnardos_IRL
Instagram: @barnardos_irl

About Barnardos

Barnardos’ mission is to deliver services and work with families, communities, and our partners to transform the lives of vulnerable children who are affected by adverse childhood experiences. Because childhood lasts a lifetime


In September 2019, the philanthropic arm of Google, announced a €1 million grant to help Barnardos enable children in Ireland to interact safely and responsibly online. As a result of the grant, a 5 year education programme is being rolled out in schools across the country. Over 3,000 workshops will be held in 1,000 schools and reach over 82,000 students. Since the launch 78,960 children have been reached via Barnardos Online Safety Programme at 557 schools nationwide and delivered 174 parent workshops on online safety. In conjunction with the launch of the Barnardos grant, Google also unveiled its Be Internet Legends programme, which is designed to provide the necessary online safety resources to parents, children and teachers who are not able to access the Barnardos programme in person, or who feel that they need further support.

About Barnardos

Barnardos’ mission is to deliver services and work with families, communities, and our partners to transform the lives of vulnerable children who are affected by adverse childhood experiences. Because childhood lasts a lifetime  

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