Barnardo's News Release

Build-A-Bear Workshop Supports Young Carers This Christmas

This festive season will be made extra special for thousands of young carers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, thanks to children’s charity Barnardo’s and toy retailer Build-A-Bear Workshop

With so many adult responsibilities, young carers often miss out on opportunities other children have to learn and play, especially during winter holidays such as Eid, Chanukah and Christmas.

Around 133,708 young carers in the UK aged 15 and under are providing care or support to a family member who is sick, disabled, has mental health problems, or is misusing substances.

Build-A-Bear Workshop is giving more than 7,000 teddy bears to Barnardo’s young carers in December  and is donating £1 to the charity every time someone buys a purple satin heart for their bear in store.

In addition, every time a shopper buys a gift card worth £10 for £5 during November, Build-A-Bear Workshop will donate a teddy to the Barnardo’s Young Carers’ programme.

Si, a young carer aged 16 from Newport, said: “I was finding high school difficult, especially exams. It’s good to have someone to talk to. My Barnardo’s support worker has helped me think about my future. Christmas can be a difficult time because my mum can’t go out and get stuff from the shops.

A selection of young carers will be invited to go to a nearby Build-A-Bear Workshop store to take part in group bear making activities. They will be given the chance to create their own bear and make one for another young carer.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan said:This is a fantastic offer from Build-A-Bear Workshop. Many young carers this festive period will be helping to look after a family member who is seriously ill or disabled. At Barnardo’s we help young carers and their families get the support they need and are entitled to, providing opportunities for them to meet other young carers and share experiences.”

It’s so wonderful that Build-A-Bear Workshop is thinking of young carers at this difficult time of year. We are delighted to be working with Build-A-Bear Workshop and raising vital funds for our young carer services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Barnardo’s supports young carers and families with various services to make it possible for a child just to be a child.

Build-a-Bear Workshop Chief Marketing Officer Gina Collins, said: “Our Merry Mission campaign and partnership with Barnardo’s encourages guests of all ages to give back to their communities. Doing something for others while you shop is an easy way to make this Christmas a little brighter for children and young people in Barnardo’s Young Carers Programme.”

About Barnardo’s Young Carers

Young Carers Figures (June 2015) :

There are 133,708 young carers in the UK aged 0-15.

There are 491,273 young carers in the UK aged 0-24.

Barnardo’s works with more than 240,000 children, young people and their families each year.

Barnardo’s runs more than 960 services across the UK.

We believe in children and we believe every young person has a right to thrive.

Our vision is to realise Thomas Barnardo’s dream of a world where no child is turned away from the help that they need.

We work to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and every year we help thousands of families to build a better future. But we cannot do it without you. Visit Barnardo’s website to find out how you can get involved and show you believe in children.

Follow Barnardo’s media team on Twitter : Barnardo’s on Twitter.

Prepared by : Sharon Steed
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