Barnardos Partnership, volunteers with students, in front of them is a table full of games.

Children’s charity Barnardo’s supports around 300,000 children, young people, parents and carers through more than 1,000 services across the UK, focused on achieving safer childhoods, stronger families and positive futures..

During COVID-19, charities like Barnardo’s face unprecedented new challenges such as fundraising shortfalls, volunteer shortages, and a surge in demand for their services.

Amazon has expanded its existing partnership with Barnardo’s in order to help – here’s how.

Mapping local services and needs

While Amazon’s charity partners face the challenge of reopening support structures in the context of COVID-19, we want to support them in doing so and help them to continue delivering their support safely with as little impact to young people as possible.

Three school children playing various games on a table, there is Connect Four, Buckaroo, Jenga and others.

Barnardo’s and Amazon therefore mapped out children’s services corresponding to Amazon corporate sites and Fulfilment Centres across the UK. These children’s services offer a variety of support mechanisms to vulnerable children, including counselling, after school education support and mentorship.

Amazon teams then work with children’s services to better understand their immediate needs and to help them develop an Amazon Wish List, which is then shopped and delivered with a £1,000 donation, bolstered by a further £1,000 cash donation for items that may not be available on Amazon.

Lynn Perry, Corporate Director of Children’s Services at Barnardo’s, says: “Linking Amazon sites to local children’s services has been a fast-moving project which has allowed us to bring together large-scale infrastructure with insights to local need, enabling our staff supporting children, young people and families to respond in a tailored way. This is helping us to free up both capacity and manage resources in local services.”

So far, the initiative has supported up to 40 local services as they reopen, helping to buy materials, invest in technology or to create more welcoming – and socially distanced – spaces for children and families. It’s estimated that up to 40,000 children have already benefited.

Barnardo’s Kidsmas

Three School children sitting behind a table full of colourful game boxes.

This partnership builds on existing activity, including Amazon-hosted ‘Barnardo’s Kidsmas’ parties.

Last year, as part of Amazon’s long-term commitment to supporting local communities and providing unique learning opportunities for young people, eight Amazon sites across the UK, including Dunfermline, Doncaster and Swansea, opened their doors to hundreds of children from the Barnardo’s network.

Despite the restrictions, plans are afoot to ensure Christmas this year is as special as ever – including virtual parties and fundraising drives.

Lynn adds: “The vulnerable children and families supported by Barnardo’s have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. As a charity we are facing a funding shortfall while demand for our services continues to rise. We are looking forward to working together with Amazon to meet these challenges and continue supporting children, young people and families.”

Donate to Barnardo’s today

How is Amazon supporting local charities during COVID-19?