Published on
10 October 2019

Barnardo’s is today launching The BU, Barnardo's corporate university, giving its 8,000 employees access to informal learning experiences as well as formal accredited qualifications and apprenticeships. 

woman and man looking at each other in class room environment

The launch of The BU represents a ground-breaking moment for Barnardo’s. The charity is investing in its staff and their learning to help Barnardo’s achieve its ultimate goal of changing children’s lives, and the system around them, for the better. 

The new venture encourages a learning culture across the charity. It allows staff to ‘learn together’, with colleagues, the young people Barnardo’s supports and the charity’s partners in the public, private and third sector, including academic institutions.

About the BU

The BU is now open to all Barnardo’s employees all of whom have been invited to enroll, explore the online prospectus and nominate themselves to be Learning Leaders to help shape the future of The BU. Barnardo’s will also soon be expanding the offer to include it’s 20,000 volunteers, and the young people the charity supports. 

Barnardo’s has also shared its ambition with a range of external partners. Today (Thursday) the charity will be joined by speakers from both established and developing partners including The Open University, University of Salford and Rolls-Royce.

Learning is in the charity’s DNA. 153 years ago Dr Barnardo provided children and young people with skills and opportunities as well as shelter and food.

Today, Barnardo’s is focused on preparing for the future, making sure it has the skills and knowledge to continue to deliver the best outcomes for vulnerable children - in line with its ambitious 10 year Corporate Strategy. 

Already all staff have at least three days of learning a year in addition to required learning, and the charity has invested in trauma-responsiveness training for every member of staff and volunteer across the UK. The BU is the next step in this learning journey.

For more information please read The BU brochure and watch highlights from the launch event.