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Blonde girl smiling Barnardo's Northern Ireland

Barnardo’s Northern Ireland

Barnardo’s NI works for children first and last. In over 100 years we have helped improve the lives and opportunities of tens of thousands of children in communities across Northern Ireland. We work wherever children need us most.

For more information about our services and programmes, please take a look at the Barnardo's NI service information.

We also have a new booklet called 'Voices' (PDF) which has first hand accounts from a range of children, young people and families, speaking about how Barnardo's NI has supported them and made a positive impact on their lives.

Latest publications can be found in the Campaigning for Children section.

You can keep up to date with Barnardo's NI on Facebook and Twitter.

Latest news

Fostering appeal

September 2017

Fostering appeal

Barnardo’s NI foster carer Avril Kenwell from Ballynahinch is backing an urgent Barnardo’s appeal for more foster carers to look after vulnerable teenagers in Northern Ireland.

Avril, who together with her husband Brian have been foster carers for twelve years, said: “Being a teenager is hard at the best of times and being a teenager in care can be even harder. Having a stable, happy, loving home where you can relax and be yourself while knowing you are genuinely cared for is so important. Every teenager deserves this opportunity.”

Avril says she and Brian feel it’s important to foster teenagers because it’s a time in a young person’s life when they can really need someone to be there for them, especially if they have been let down in the past:

“Teenagers need time and patience. If they’re being fostered they probably need to gain confidence and will really need someone to be an advocate for them, especially with school. They might also have missed out on lots of things growing up that other children will have had, like going on a train or spending the day at the beach so it’s about doing those things and sharing those experiences. Teenagers can need a lot of encouragement particularly if they’ve had a hard start in life.”

Avril and Brian Kenwell have fostered two teenagers in long term placements as well as providing short term fostering for many others. Their first foster child was Elaine who lived with them from the age of eleven to eighteen. Although she has now moved out she is still part of their family, visits regularly and still calls her old bedroom ‘Elaine’s room’.

Barnardo’s NI Director Lynda Wilson said: “Without enough foster families for teenagers they can miss out on the care and support they need to equip them for adult life. Being a teenager can be tough but having the support of a stable caring family can transform their lives. I’d urge anyone considering becoming a foster carer to contact us today.”

To enquire about fostering with Barnardo’s NI T: 028 9065 2288 or visit

Belfast Pride 2017

August 2017


We were proud to take part in Belfast Pride 2017 celebrating our LGBTQ children, young people and staff. It was a fantastic day with a great family friendly fun atmosphere. We had a stand in the Pride Village and took part in the parade. It was our eighth year taking part and we look forward to an even bigger and better one next year! #BelfastPride. For more photos from the day please visit our Barnardo's Ni facebook page.

Baby boxes launched

July 2017

Baby box launch

Barnardo’s NI has launched a new baby box pilot scheme aimed at mums-to-be who are in the later stages of pregnancy and are in a crisis situation, including victims of domestic abuse, refugees and asylum seekers.

Inspired by Finnish baby boxes which are gifted to every child born in Finland they are packed with essentials to help babies get the best start in life. The boxes include over 20 items and double as a cot for safer sleeping.

The pilot has been funded by Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan who raised £5000 from a sponsored abseil down the Arcelor Mittal Orbit at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

Included in the boxes are babysuits, sleepsuits, a fleece blanket, hats, scratch mits, a chewy teether, baby wipes, lotion, sponges etc.

The first boxes have already been distributed and it is hoped that if successful the scheme will be widened to to include expectant mums across Barnardo’s NI services.  

Pictured (l-r) Lynda Wilson Director Barnardo’s NI, three year old Mohammad Alaboud, Barnardo’s NI Chief Executive Javed Khan and six month old Mahmoud Alaboud who was the first baby to be gifted a box.


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