The past 22 months have been unlike any other. The unemployment, financial and emotional pressure from the pandemic created unprecedented anxiety in the community and our vulnerable children, young people and families were hit the hardest. During the height of the pandemic we saw a massive increase in the number of families asking Barnardos for food. Our Children’s Family Centres were often the only emergency food service in operation for hundreds of local families in need.
We found innovative ways to support struggling families, even at a distance. We introduced “virtual home-visiting” by telephone and video conference to help share the burden and gave practical assistance. Deliveries of food and grocery parcels, including nappies and other baby products, enabled us to check-in with our families. Our Barnardos workers have always lived by the motto “all in this together” but these past two years especially have galvanised our belief in the need for a strong community to support our families and their children.