Barnardos Annual Report and Financial Statements 2016

Barnardos. (2017). Barnardos Annual Report and Financial Statements 2016.
It was Jim Henson who invented two of my favourite people, Statler and Waldorf, in the Muppet Show. He must have been a man who understood the magic and mystery of childhood more than most, because his work can turn grown men and women back into children again in an instant. In his book, “It's Not Easy Being Green” Henson said, “Kids don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.” When I visit Barnardos projects and see Barnardos people at work, that sentiment is easy to understand. Children are made welcome in a Barnardos centre. More than that, they’re respected. A Barnardos centre is a place where people work alongside children, helping them to grow, building confidence, encouraging them to express themselves. You can actually see potential flourishing in the warm and friendly surroundings. I know the work can be demanding and painstaking. Children whose lives have been affected by disadvantage can struggle to trust grownups sometimes, apart from their Mum and Dad. But when I asked one of the staff in one centre did she ever get tired, she said “how could you? You might work for weeks to encourage a little boy to talk and interact and suddenly it all pours out of him in a torrent of energy and fun and smiles”. That payback is why Barnardos people work so hard. And it’s why we fight for children through our advocacy work. We believe in children, and we believe passionately that investing in children is not just the right thing to do, but it makes real economic sense. We couldn’t do what we do without brilliant people working in Barnardos. Alongside them are all the volunteers who give so much of their time, and all the people who raise or donate money to help us transform young lives for the better. For my own part I have been honoured this past year to work with a Board that is utterly professional and dedicated, and with a team of people who are second to none. For all of us in Barnardos, children matter most.