Why Barnardos needs your support in The Echo Virtual Women's Mini Marathon

Barnardos who are transforming the lives of children across Cork and beyond are seeking people to take part in The Echo Virtual Women's Mini Marathon
Why Barnardos needs your support in The Echo Virtual Women's Mini Marathon

Barnardos are asking participants of The Echo Virtual Women's Mini-Marathon 2021 to raise funds for Barnardos. Pictured are staff of Barnardos, South Cork City, Family Support Project get set for the online event. (front) Shirley Smyth and Maurice McKoy, Project Leader, with (rear) project workers Aoife Farrell and Karen Hughes. Picture: Larry Cummins

AS The Echo Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon draws near, many in Cork might be considering running, but are yet to choose a charity to run in aid of.

Barnardos is Ireland’s leading children’s charity, working directly with nearly 18,000 children and their families through 41 projects nationwide. The charity’s core work supports vulnerable children affected by traumatic life events such as the impact of poverty, abuse, neglect and mental health challenges.

In 2020, over 900 children and families were supported by Barnardos across Cork through their Cork based services:

South Cork City Family Support Service is a service for all of South Cork city. Supports range from crisis intervention following a family trauma to a practical parenting programme to teach parenting skills and the importance of routine.

Barnardos Brighter Futures, Knocknaheeny, offers targeted individual intensive family support and Early Years Services, a programme for 2-5 year olds providing a safe and fun learning environment for children experiencing social or economic disadvantage to help them reach their developmental milestones

Fermoy/Mitchelstown Community Family Support and Youghal Community Family Support works with children and their parent/carers to achieve positive outcomes in the emotional, social and educational aspects of their lives

As life begins to return to some form of normality, many of the children Barnardos work with are still struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic. Barnardos’ work is now focused on the emotional support families need to recover as well as continuing to provide practical items likes nutritious breakfasts, hot meals and other basic family supplies and essentials.

The impact on the local community

Barnardos South Cork City Family Support Project has worked with 1,200 families and nearly 2,000 children in the Mahon community over the last 20 years. The project provides a range of services, which include individual work with children and families (home based parenting programmes), practical family support including weekly food parcel deliveries, and group parenting programmes.

More information on their services can be found at www.barnardos.ie.

Due to social disadvantage, many families in the area are dealing with issues of addiction, domestic violence or poor mental health.

As a charity, Barnardos is increasingly dependent on voluntary funding to ensure that they can reach these children who would otherwise disappear through the gaps – that is why Barnardos’ fund-raising activities are so vital.

It is important you register with The Echo Virtual Women’s Mini Marathon event organisers first at https://www.echolive.ie/minimarathon/. To register witt Barnardos and receive your FREE t-shirt, simply email fundraising@barnardos.ie. By taking part you can help to transform the lives of children in Cork.

A local story about Suzie* (not her real name)

Just under 18,000 children and families were supported by Barnardos in 2020. Suzie* was one of these and her story is told through a Barnardos Project Worker in Cork who first knocked on her family’s door:

“I went to the house with a Tusla social worker who had been in touch with a mother about getting some help from Barnardos. There were concerns about possible neglect. A very young girl answered the door, she was at home on her own and about 7 or 8 years old. She was in dirty clothes. The house had no heating, little furniture, no food in the kitchen and no clean clothes to dress Suzie in. Suzie’s mother came home while we were there and she was a warm, loving mother to her daughter, but she didn’t understand how her behaviour may be harming Suzie.

“To start with, we were able to arrange counselling for her mother, help her with home maintenance and practical support around budgeting, household chores and routines. Barnardos then began to work one-on-one with Suzie and provided after-school group activities. 

"Crucially, from this support, Suzie’s mother acknowledged that she was struggling as a single parent and that she needed help. That’s when the real change began to happen, and today there are no longer any child welfare concerns about Suzie.” 

See www.barnardos.ie for more

How you can get involved this year...

The Echo Women’s Mini Marathon virtual race day goes ahead this year on September 19. But don’t worry, if you can’t do your virtual 6k on that date, you can do it between Friday, September 16 and 26.

Registration this year is as follows;

a) Early Bird, 10 euro = includes a race number and medal

b) After Early Bird Closes = 15 euro There will be the option for people to set up an iDonate fundraising page for registered charities.

You can register for the event at the new site: www.echolive.ie/minimarathon

Also keep an eye on social media @theechominimarathon

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