Supporting children and families who need it most
2022-23 was an extremely challenging period for many children, young people, parents and carers in the UK.
Sharp increases in the cost of living, hard on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic, drove many families into further difficulty. Barnardo’s was on the front line of dealing with the fall-out, supporting children and young people struggling with anxiety and mental health issues, as well as increased pressure on family finances.
At the same time, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and ongoing conflicts in other parts of the world drove record numbers of people to seek sanctuary in the UK, including many children who were forced to flee their homes in the most traumatic circumstances.
As in previous years, Barnardo’s dedicated frontline colleagues, including our volunteers, were there to help with these pressing issues impacting children and their families.
How we've supported children and families living in poverty
In October 2022, Barnardo’s established a fund to help provide immediate support to children and families we support who were struggling as a result of the cost-of living crisis.
Between October 2022 and March 2023, we reached over 13,000 people, including more than 7,000 children, across over 4,000 households.
We helped families by preventing hunger, providing suitable clothing, access to warm spaces and more.
Free school meals campaign
More than 1 in 4 children are living in poverty in the UK, and the cost-of-living crisis has been making this worse as families struggle to pay their bills. We believe that no child should grow up in poverty, and so called on the Government to introduce free school meals for all primary school children in England and do more to tackle hunger during the school holidays.
In February 2023 we delivered our free school meals petition with over 32,000 signatures to 10 Downing Street. Find out more about our child poverty campaign.
Bella*, a young carer supported by Barnardo's
How we've helped children seeking sanctuary in the UK.
We supported 12,000 children, young people, parents and carers who were seeking sanctuary in the UK
- 9,730 through our bespoke helpline for families arriving in the UK (available in many languages)
- 1,319 through our Home Office funded Counter Trafficking Service
- 822 through our Welcome service in Scotland
We also supported 449 families in Northern Ireland including 269 families from Syria, and 10 from Afghanistan through our Northern Ireland Refugee Support Service. These services, alongside other help like specialist foster placements, provide vital support, including help to access basics like food and healthcare; therapeutic mental health support; and longer-term assistance with housing, education and employment, so that families can settle in the UK.
Our Warm Welcome report
During Refugee Week in June 2023, we released a report outlining a blueprint for supporting displaced children seeking protection in the UK at an event in Parliament alongside children with experience of seeking protection in the UK. Read more in our Warm Welcome report here.
Find out more about how we work with decision-makers to make lives better for children and young people.
Anna*, who received a voucher to support her and her son
16,924 people volunteered with us
Our brilliant volunteers continued to play a vital role in delivering our charity objectives, with 16,924 volunteers contributing 1.8 million hours of support to our work this year.
David, Volunteer gardener in Gloucestershire
We are passionate about improving our supporter experience and aspire to provide an excellent and inspiring experience for our supporters in every interaction with us. During the year we have modernised our ways of working across our supporter care team and are driving continuous improvements for the year ahead.
We are proud to work in partnership with businesses across the UK who share our passion, values and ambition to improve outcomes for children, young people and families across the UK.
Our Co-op partnership
At the end of this year we were thrilled to be announced as The Co-operative Group’s new national charity partner. Over the next two years, we will be working with Co-op, their 60,000 employees and over 4,500 stores and branches to raise £5m to support young people to access basic needs like food; to manage their mental wellbeing; and to connect with opportunities for their future.
Our Amazon partnership
Our partnership with Amazon continues to go from strength to strength, with a donation of £385k to support The JOBS (Journey Of Becoming Successful) Project, which helps young people with employability training, personal support, work and further education opportunities in their local community, based close to four of Amazon’s UK sites.
As a charity, we’re committed to reducing our environmental footprint to help preserve the planet for the children and young people across the UK. We know that climate change is one of the most fundamental concerns for our young beneficiaries, and they expect us to take action and play our part.
Our sustainability plan launched in 2021, outlines our charity’s commitment to sustainability and achieving net zero by 2050 or sooner. Our strategic vision is to build a culture whereby we implement sustainable practices to achieve substantial and positive changes to make us a sustainable charity.
We have committed to reducing our environmental impact through:
- sustainable working practices and behaviours
- proactive measures to reduce our environmental footprint
- responsible and sustainable stewardship in everything we do
Due to the impact of the pandemic, we take 2019-20 as a baseline for our reporting. Between 2019-20 and 2022-23 carbon emissions from:
- gas and other fuels reduced by 52.83%
- electricity reduced by 43.77%
- transport reduced by 22.62%
*Names have been changed and models used to protect people's identities