A Salford children’s charity has received a £2,000 donation which will be used to ensure children receive support following the impact of COVID-19.
Barnardo’s Independent Visitor Service, based in Salford, received a £1,000 cash donation and a donation of products worth £1,000 from Amazon.
Items included new toys, games, art and craft materials and therapy cards, and resources such as sand-tray figurines and strengths cards.
Kate Hornsby, Children’s Services Manager at Barnardo’s emphasises just how much the donations can help within the charity.
She said: “It’s just great receiving donations to give a helping hand and some lovely treats, the children in Salford are so appreciative.”
“The children and young people we are supporting in Salford have experienced a whole range of feelings [during Covid].
“They have experienced isolation, frustration, confusion regarding keeping safe, and seeing family and friends. Sometimes being based at home has been tough at times.
“Children in the care of the local authority have received a range of support during this difficult time, services and partner agencies have continued to work hard together to offer the best support”
The donation is part of a longstanding relationship between Amazon and Barnardo’s after the former donated £10,000 to the children’s charity during the early stages of lockdown.
In late 2019, Amazon donated £30,000 to Barnardo’s and hosted STEM Christmas parties for children supported by the charity in dozens of Amazon buildings across the UK.
Salford’s family centre on Eccles Old Rd, provide support for young people in care by providing information, advice, and advocacy support to children in care. As well as allowing young people to have their views and wishes heard through the Children in Care Council.
The service offers specialist workers to support families through domestic abuse, mental health problems, prison sentences, asylum-seeking, and much more.
One way the charity supports young people is through the Salford Children’s Right Service, Barnardo’s provides children and young people with an Independent Children’s Advocate.
This focuses on developing long-term friendships with young people in care, by encouraging and supporting children to speak out and express their views, wishes, and feelings.
Kate Hornsby says the advocates can have a huge impact on a child:
“This gives children a platform to say what they feel is important and what they want to change about their lives”.
113 young people from across the UK, aged 13-25, with a range of different life experiences told Barnardo’s workers how they were feeling during lockdown.
Young people said that they found the lack of social contact with friends and family difficult, as well as not being able to have their usual interactions.
A 21-year-old Male said: “For me the restrictions mean I can’t move on and I don’t have a laptop to access any online resources except on my phone. I have been identified as in need of housing, but I can’t move.”
A 17-year-old Male said: It hurt me too much the lockdown because for my personality if I sit alone, I get bad ideas in my brain. I need to be busy, be outside, when I get bad ideas, they stay for 3 or 4 days. It is bad for me the lockdown.”
— Barnardo’s (@barnardos) November 10, 2020
Several young people said that they wanted others to learn from this time and understand how their life experiences may differ.
A 19-year-old female said: “The pandemic has shown the rest of the population what it is like to lose control over your life, to be devalued by forces beyond their control in a world that does not play to your strengths. Do not forget that you got a taste of my world and do not expect me to live in a world that you did not like.”