Barnardos Annual Review 2011. An Opportunity for Change: Putting Children at the Centre

Barnardos. (2012). Barnardos Annual Review 2011. An Opportunity for Change: Putting Children at the Centre.
In Barnardos we dare to hope. We know these are challenging times, for us as an economy, as a country, as a society and at times it can seem that these challenges are overwhelming. We are more aware of these challenges than most, as many of the children and families we work with are struggling with these challenges every day. The challenge to survive, the challenge to build a life away from the clutches of addiction, violence, poverty and abuse. The challenge to get access to the right services and supports to help them overcome all that life has thrown at them and build a different, brighter, better future. But despite these challenges, every day in 42 centres around Ireland the 6,350 children and their families that we work with give us hope. The hope for the future and the endless possibilities that every individual child represents. As we strive to repair our damaged economy we cannot forget these children and families, we must redouble our efforts to help them, help ourselves, build a brighter future for us all. Investing in our young is a key part of our recovery and success. Giving them the best possible start in life is critical and addressing the social inequalities that prevent so many children from having a full and enjoyable childhood must remain a priority. “If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” Barack Obama We must protect the children of today and provide them with the supports and resources they require to develop to their full potential. We have been heartened to see the move by government to restructure the HSE and to establish a new agency with sole responsibility for children and family services which will become operational in 2013. It gives us hope. I would like to thank and commend all who work in or with Barnardos – the 433 staff, 285 volunteers, nine Board Members – for their unfailing dedication and commitment to Barnardos. They have given their all in 2011 to ensure that Barnardos continues to be able to serve the children and families who need it most. To all our supporters we thank you for your continued support of Barnardos work. We couldn’t do it without you and we really appreciate all you give to us. On behalf of Barnardos I would also like to thank Harry Slowey who retired as Board Chair in July 2011. He gave years of service to Barnardos and guided it expertly through a period of change and growth and all the challenges that they represented. I would also like to thank Deirdre Mortell, who also retired from the Board in 2011, for her wonderful work and support over many years. We will continue to work as hard as we can for the children and families who need us most and despite the challenges do this with hope for a different, brighter and better future for us all.