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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

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.

Little Toddlers take on the Big Toddle

June 2017

Big Toddle 2017

Over two hundred toddlers from Strabane Sure Start recently took part in Barnardo’s NI annual Big Toddle held at the Melvin Centre. The fundraising event raised over £1800.

Barnardo’s Strabane Manager Sharon Hasson said: “It was a fantastic day and our biggest Big Toddle to date. It was our fifteenth anniversary and every year the event gets bigger. It was brilliant that so many local families came out to support us and the sunshine was an added bonus.”

This year Barnardo’s Big Toddle marked its 20th anniversary and teamed up with the Teletubbies who are also celebrating their 20th birthday.

Local Strabane bakery McColgans donated a Teletubbies decorated cake to mark the joint anniversaries.

The Big Toddle is the biggest fundraising event for under five year olds across the Uk and over the past twenty years is has raised over £14.5million to support the charity’s work with children.

Graduate Interns

June 2017


Four graduate interns from Barnardo’s NI Graduate Teacher Internship Programme recently received awards in recognition of their contribution. It is the fifth year the programme has run. The graduate interns worked in primary schools affiliated through Barnardo's Family Connections Service in East Belfast and Newtownabbey. The aim is to support children reach numeracy and literacy targets, raise aspirations and confidence levels and engage parents. There is an emphasis on making learning fun with graduates delivering innovative programmes including games and outdoor learning. Highlights included activities themed around Pokemon and Minecraft. The programme works in partnership with Stranmillis University College and parents and children spent a Family Learning Day at the College. The primary schools taking part included: Cregagh PS, Elmgrove PS, Tullycarnet PS, Euston St PS, Abbots Cross PS, Rathcoole PS, Whitehouse PS and Monkstown PS.

Picutred  (l-r): Roisin McAllister, Jordan Smyth, Nathan Montgomery and Emma Hilman

Celebrating volunteers

June 2017


Volunteers from Barnardo's NI children's services, retail and fundraising came together today for an event at the Long Gallery, Parliament Buildings, Stormont as part of National Volunteering Week inearly June. Barnardo's NI Director Lynda Wilson said: "Volunteers enrich us. We are a community of people focused on doing the best for the children and young people we support. Volunteers bring different skills to us including life knowledge, experience and empathy. Volunteers are integral to Barnardo's." It was a lovely day which saw all the volunteers awarded certificates of recognition. If you are interested in volunteering please visit our 'Support Us' pages which has links to volunteering and volunteering opportunities within NI.

Foster carers of distinction

May 2017

foster carers award

Barnardo’s NI foster carers Alex Miekle and Sharon Duffy from Newtownards were recently awarded Foster Carers with Distinction at the Fostering Network NI Foster Carer of the Year Awards 2017. It coincided with their tenth year of fostering.

Over the past 10 years they have fostered three boys in long term placements as well as a number of short stay and emergency placements through Barnardo’s Professional Fostering Service. They are currently fostering a 12 year old boy and a four year old with complex medical needs.

Sharon said: “We started fostering in May 2007 and since then our lives have been transformed. It has made us a family. The team at Barnardo’s is so supportive we feel part of a bigger family. We would tell anyone thinking of fostering to go for it. Our house is alive with children, toys and their friends. If you ‘ve got the space, the room and the time these children are special, yes they come with challenges but the rewards outweigh all that.”

Helen Browne, Barnardo’s NI Fostering Manager said: “We are thrilled for Sharon and Alex being recognised as Foster Carers of Distinction at the Fostering Network Awards. They were the first gay couple to foster through Barnardo’s NI and it has been an extremely successful partnership. The social worker who carried out their assessment 10 years ago is the same who nominated them for their award. It is a fantastic recognition for Alex and Sharon and we are so delighted that their commitment to children has been recognised.”

If you are interested in fostering with Barnardo’s please visit:  or phone 028 9065 2288.

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