Going for gold Stamp celebrates anniversary of children’s charity Barnardos
Thursday 11 October 2012 – The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte joined Fergus Finlay, Barnardos Chief Executive at the GPO today to unveil An Post’s new 55c postage stamp, specially commissioned to mark the golden anniversary of the children’s charity. For fifty years now Barnardos has worked closely with more than 100,000 children and families living in disadvantaged communities throughout Ireland, supporting them to achieve their potential in life.
Barnardos work in Ireland started in 1962 supporting children and families in Dublin and also in the border counties. Today the charity has grown to become Ireland’s leading independent children’s charity and last year alone Barnardos worked with more than 6,300 children and families.
While fifty years is a significant milestone for Barnardos, 2012 has been a very difficult year for the organisation as the effect of repeated cuts to funding and a decline in voluntary income deepens. Fergus Finlay, Barnardos Chief Executive said: “We have a long tradition of service in communities across Ireland and we set ourselves high standards. Our work relies on the generosity of our supporters, the commitment of our staff and on the unshakable belief that Ireland really can be the best place in the world to be a child.
Everyday we meet families who are suffering the terrible effects of this recession. These families welcome us into their lives in the hope that we can make a difference. For many we are their only hope.”
Barnardos works with children from birth to eighteen years. 35 per cent of the children attending the charity’s services are aged five and under, with the majority aged between six and twelve. Referrals come from a variety of sources with including parents, social workers and HSE child and family services, schools and other community health professionals like public health nurses or speech and language therapists.
The Barnardos network includes more than 40 project centres located in the heart of communities. It operates eight Early Years services, 20 Family Support programmes, five Teen Parent programmes and four Family Welfare Conference services. In addition, Barnardos provides some specialist programmes nationally such as counselling services dealing with childhood bereavement and post adoption, a Guardian ad Litem service representing children's interests in court proceedings and an information resource network for parents and childcare professionals.
Barnardos Ireland is a wholly independent Irish organisation since 1989, with sister organisations in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. The Barnardos tradition was founded in the East End of London by a Dubliner, Dr Thomas Barnardo in 1870 when he opened his first home for homeless boys in a city struggling with the effects of the Industrial Revolution and an outbreak of cholera. By the time of his death in 1905, Dr Barnardo had established a large network of homes in the UK caring for about 8,000 children.
Barnardos Chief Executive, Fergus Finlay said: “We in Barnardos feel very honoured that the Minister and An Post have taken this opportunity to mark Barnardos 50 year contribution to Irish society in such a wonderful way. We hope the stamp will spread a message of hope to all who see it and that it might prompt families in need to reach out for our help.
“Looking back on 50 years, it is humbling to realise that an organisation like Barnardos has made a difference to the lives of more than 100,000 children in Ireland. Many people have been part of the Barnardos journey – to all those who have volunteered their skills and time, who have given whatever they could afford to support our work and most importantly to the children and families who have opened their doors to allow us to make that difference, thank you.”
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte said: “I have direct experience from my own constituency of the immensely valuable work in which Barnardos has been engaged for many years. I am delighted on behalf of the Government to use the occasion of the special commemorative stamp to salute that work!”
An Post Chief Executive, Donal Connell said: “We are delighted to mark Barnardos’ 50th anniversary and their important work throughout the country with this colourful, commemorative stamp. As it travels on cards, letters and packages or takes its place in philatelic collections all over the world, it carries with it the message of hope, equality and caring at the heart of Barnardos, and its inspired and brave founder, Irishman Thomas Barnardo.”
Designed by Zinc Design, the 55 cent stamp features colourful elements from the paintings of young children attending some of Barnardos 42 project centres.
The stamp and a special Collector’s First Day Cover can be purchased at main post offices, at the Philatelic shop in Dublin’s GPO and at www.irishstamps.ie.
For further information, please contact:
Barnardos press office: 01 7080442
Irene Lawlor; 01 7080423, 086 3980441
Rachel Boyce; 01 7080443, 086 3683071
An Post press office: 01 705 7470, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna McHugh; 01 705 8832, 086 2530697
Notes to the Editor:
The Barnardos tradition was founded by an Irish man, Dr Thomas Barnardo, born on Dublin’s Dame Street. He was educated in St Patrick’s Cathedral School and, at the age of 16, set out for London to train as a doctor.
The London in which Thomas Barnardo arrived in 1866 was a city struggling to cope with the effects of the Industrial Revolution. Overcrowding, bad housing, unemployment, poverty and disease were rife. An outbreak of cholera killed more than 3,000 people, leaving families destitute. Thousands of children slept on the streets and many others were forced to beg after being maimed in factories.
Abandoning his plans to travel to China as a missionary, Thomas Barnardo set up a ragged school in the East End of London in 1867, where vulnerable children could get a basic education. In 1870, Barnardo opened his first home for boys in Stepney Causeway, which carried a sign over the door 'No Destitute Child Ever Refused Admission'.
By the time of his death in 1905, Dr Barnardo had established a large network of homes in the UK caring for about 8,000 children. During the twentieth century, Barnardos adapted to the changing needs of children and families. The emphasis changed from caring for children in residential homes to services that support children to stay within their families and communities.
1845 – Dr Thomas Barnardo was born in Dublin.
1870 – Dr Barnardo opened his first home for homeless boys in London.
1962 – The Barnardos tradition continued to grow and set roots in Ireland, initially in Dublin and the border counties.
1974 – The Barnardos bus made its first appearance on the streets of Dublin, providing pre-school education to children in areas with inadequate local resources.
1977 – Barnardos established an Adoption Support Service working with birth parents, adopted adults and supporting families who have adopted children.
1980 – Barnardos opened the doors of its first Early Years centre working with children in Tallaght, Dublin.
1989 – Barnardos Ireland became a wholly independent organisation.
1990 – Barnardos national office moved to its current home in Christchurch Square, Dublin.
1995 – Barnardos opened its first centres outside of Dublin in Limerick city and Edenderry, County Offaly.
1996 – Barnardos opens a national Bereavement Counselling service for children.
1998 – 2001: Barnardos opened Family Support Centres in Waterford city, Tullamore, Athlone, Thurles, Carlow, Cork city and Cherry Orchard, Dublin 10.
2004 - Barnardos worked with 4803 children and families
2008 – Barnardos opened a purpose built Early Years centre for children living in Cork city.
2009 – Barnardos launched its twentieth Family Support Centre in Clonmel, Co Tipperary.
2010 – Barnardos launched its fifth Teen Parent Support Service providing support to expectant teenagers and young parents living in north Wexford.
2011 - Barnardos supported 6,300 children and families out of 42 project centres.
2012 – Barnardos marks 50 years working to support children and families in Ireland.
Barnardos supports children whose well-being is under threat, by working with them, their families and communities and by campaigning for the rights of children. Barnardos was established in Ireland in 1962 and is Ireland’s leading independent children’s charity. www.barnardos.ie