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Support the Unsupported:
frequently asked questions

1. What is the key message of the campaign?

Barnardo’s ‘Support the Unsupported’ campaign brings to life Barnardo’s purpose to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children. We are asking the public to help us support the children who need it most.

We are running a TV advert “Ellie”, and we have partnered with The Guardian to tell their readers about the work that we do, and the difference that Barnardo’s makes. We are also asking the public to turn the love they give their child into support for the children who have no-one by uploading their child’s achievements onto The Nation’s Fridge Door.

2. What is the idea behind the TV advertisement?

Our TV advert, ‘Ellie’, contrasts the life of a young boy with that of Ellie, 14, who is being sexually exploited. While the boy has a loving and stable support network, such as his teacher, to help him find the courage to overcome his fear, without Barnardo’s, Ellie feels she would have no one.

The TV advert aims to highlight the vital emotional and practical support our project workers give to the sexually exploited children they work with so that they can begin to recover from being sexually exploited and start to rebuild their lives.

3. Is the ad based on a real young person?

Ellie is fictional, but sadly, her story is the reality for the thousands of sexually exploited children Barnardo’s works with. Even when they are brave enough to disclose what has happened to them, it can be a struggle to come to terms with the abuse they have suffered.

4. How did Barnardo's ensure Ellie’s story was as realistic as possible?

While developing the TV advert, our advertising agency visited several Barnardo’s projects and spoke with project workers and service users.

We also showed the final advert to a number of project workers to ensure the advert is an accurate and powerful portrayal of the work Barnardo's does and the children and young people we help.

5. How does Barnardo's help children like Ellie?

While developing the TV advert, our advertising agency visited several Barnardo’s projects and spoke with project workers and service users.

We also showed the final advert to a number of project workers to ensure the advert is an accurate and powerful portrayal of the work Barnardo's does and the children and young people we help.

Make a donation today and support children in your area.

6. Why do you spend money on TV advertising?

TV advertising is the most powerful way we can raise our brand awareness, increasing our appeal and relevance as a modern charity in the public eye and gaining us more support. A strong brand presence is critical, acting as a platform from which to fundraise to continue our vital work with children and young people.

In times of economic uncertainty, charities often see their income decline as people are forced to make hard choices about their spending and often cut back on their expenditure. People will continue to support charities but only those they feel are most deserving, and may reduce the number of charities they give to. In an increasingly competitive charity marketplace we need to ensure we continue to raise awareness of our work and communicate our deservedness, so that we remain at the forefront of our supporters’ minds and ensure their continued loyalty to us.

7. What if I am offended by the content of the advertising?

Our intention is not to offend anyone but to highlight the reality for children affected by sexual exploitation, and the fact that the support Barnardo’s provides is crucial in helping them to deal with what has happened to them and start on the long road to recovery.

The ad is based on the experiences of real children and young people and it is important that we reflect this accurately, and highlight issues which are affecting the lives of so many young people today.

8. What if I am distressed by the advertisement?

The last thing we want is to distress or upset victims of child sexual exploitation.

Our intention is to highlight the issue and demonstrate that Barnardo’s can help children who find themselves in such situations. Only by doing this will we achieve the public support that will enable us to continue our work supporting those affected – critically Barnardo’s doesn’t currently have enough services to meet the rising demand from young people who need our help.

9. Who can I contact if I have been affected by any of the issues raised in the campaign?

  • If you are a child or young person and are in immediate danger, please call 999
  • If you are a child or young person and need help or support please call Childline on 0800 11 11
  • Children, young people and adults may also contact one of our services in your area. Full details are on this website.

10. What is The Nation’s Fridge Door?

The Nation’s Fridge Door is a mass celebration of the love and support you give your child.

In every family home, the fridge acts as testament to the pride and support that parents show their children. It is a canvas for all their achievements – their artwork, their academic accomplishments, photos of activities they have done.

Yet the most vulnerable children that Barnardo’s works with have no one to show them this support.

That’s why we are asking parents to show their support for the children who have no one by taking a picture of their child’s achievement, worthy of their own fridge door, and uploading it to The Nation’s Fridge Door to be admired by all.

By doing this, they will help Barnardo’s raise awareness for the work that Barnardo’s does and for the children who have no one.

By taking part in The Nation’s Fridge Door, your child’s achievement could also be displayed in one of our 500 stores across the UK.

11. How can I take part?

You can take part by visiting www.barnardos.org.uk/fridge and clicking through to The Nation’s Fridge Door from the homepage.

Once you have uploaded your child’s achievement to our virtual fridge door, we’d love you to share The Nation’s Fridge Door with your friends and family via Twitter, Facebook or email.

12. Where can I find out more information about the advertising campaign?