The continuing, extraordinary and disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most significant challenges Barnardo’s has faced in our 154 year history.
As the winter sets in, both the virus and the economy are heading in a worrying direction, and like others we are having to close shops and pause key fundraising activities.
We know that the vulnerable children, young people and families we support will be some of the hardest hit. The current situation is exacerbating deprivation, driving more families into poverty, and entrenching existing inequalities for children from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
The pandemic is wreaking havoc on children’s mental health and increasing their risk of harm at home, online, and in the community.
It is the ‘perfect storm’. The need for our services has never been greater, yet - like so many other charities and organisations - we are facing substantial reductions in income.
To ensure we can weather this storm and continue to serve the most vulnerable, we have decided that for the period 2020-2023 we will need to narrow our focus, concentrating on three key objectives:
- Prioritise resources on our core mission - supporting vulnerable children and young people through our frontline services.
- Generate as much net income as we can, to invest in our vital services.
- Work with partners to influence and improve the system surrounding vulnerable children and young people.
We have set out our approach to the next few years more fully in a Revised Corporate Strategy - ‘Towards Resurgence’.
Whilst we are narrowing our focus in the short-term, we are also preparing the charity to ‘bounce back’ as soon as possible, so we can continue to support the vulnerable children and young people who need us most.
During the pandemic the world has been changing faster than ever before. That’s why we are continuing to invest in developing innovative new products and services that not only meet children’s needs today, but tomorrow too.
We know that in the current climate it is vital that we can demonstrate our impact, which is why we have established the Barnardo’s Foundation, to maximise the benefits of our voluntary funds and measure the impact for our partners, funders and beneficiaries.
In addition, Barnardo’s remains deeply committed to investing in our people, who are the lifeblood of our charity. For this reason we are continuing to support The BU- Barnardo’s corporate university, on our path to becoming a learning organisation.
We are extremely grateful to our partners, donors and supporters from all sectors who have worked with us in recent months. We know that the challenges facing vulnerable children, young people and families are too complex for any single organisation to solve alone - so we need to work even more closely with partners in the future.
So please continue to support us in any way you can - whether through a formal partnership, a donation or by helping us raise awareness on social media.
Your action will always make a difference - especially in these uniquely challenging times.