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100 days to raise a million: ‘Level of deprivation and poverty out there has not been seen since the 1980s’

Charity is experiencing surge in calls for help from families who never needed to avail of their services before

Barnardos raises €10 million every year to fund its services including food kitchens, targeted provisions, and essential deliveries to struggling families.

“This year, there is an emergency drive to fundraise due to the economic crisis we are experiencing. The Barnardo’s 100 days to raise €1 million appeal is in full swing as it approaches its last day on December 31st,” says Mary Gamble, Director of Fundraising at Barnardos.

“We have 16,000 families accessing Barnardo’s 56 service operations that are spread nationwide,” says Mary Gamble. “So, this drive is to cope with increased appeals from families for food, warm clothes and energy vouchers. We are doing our very best to help those who need simple practical needs such as light, heat and food.”

Barnardos is experiencing a surge in calls for help from families who never needed to avail of their services before.


“Many of our long-term supporters and chefs who have worked here for years say they haven’t seen deprivation and poverty like this since the 1980s. Our teams are looking after families already under our umbrella that were referred to us from schools, gardaí and social workers,” she adds.

One of the local mums who was looking for aid recently said: “The Sunday roast is a thing of the past – it’s a luxury.” A bowl of cereal has taken its place in many instances.

A schoolgirl who avails of Barnardos kitchen really looks forward to going there every day: “I love Fridays because we get pancakes and strawberries,” she says.

To raise money Barnardos is getting the public involved to take up some of their themed fundraising drives. By contacting the Barnardos website you can find many ways to organise a Christmas sea swim or a forest walk to raise money.

The Barnardo’s Big Toddle is a fun half-mile sponsored walk for creche and preschool-aged children. This year they are celebrating 19 years of Big Toddle fun and a total distance of more than 306,784 miles – that’s a lot of footsteps for little legs. “This walk has raised an incredible €4.2 million in support of Barnardo’s Early Years services that focuses on some of the youngest and most vulnerable children we work with ensuring that they get the best start in life,” says Gamble.