Barnardo’s puts its frontline workers centre stage in new approach to direct response TV fundraising

A Barnardo’s project worker helping victims of child sexual abuse has a starring role in the charity’s new hard-hitting TV advert.

The UK’s largest children’s charity has taken a new approach to its direct response TV fundraising campaign, putting a frontline worker centre stage in the advert which is airing throughout October.

The ad features footage taken from a Skype call between Barnardo’s project worker Jo and creative agency Arthur.

Barnardo’s Director of Fundraising Jennie York said: “It was intended to just be a research call to get some ideas and a greater understanding of what our frontline workers do to support children who’ve been sexually abused or exploited.

“We really wanted to get across what our project workers do every day, working at the sharp end of our services and what kind of difference they make to children’s lives.

“What Jo was telling us was so compelling it was clear that what was going to have the biggest impact was her own experience in her own words – she had to be the advert.

“The fundraising environment has been really tough over the past few years and it’s been even more important for us to cut through a crowded market and reach our potential donors. We hope that through this new approach we can raise significant funds to help transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children.”

Barnardo’s fundraising teams regularly work with colleagues in children’s services to research and develop narratives and case studies to create materials to help generate funds but this is the first time actual footage from a research call has been used.

The ad features Jo talking about her work supporting children and young people who have been sexually abused or exploited and how she helps them to recover from trauma, including how she has supported a girl called Chloe* who was abused multiple times from the age of 12.

Jo goes onto say Chloe’s abuser, who she met online, had pretended to be just a couple of years older than her but was in fact a 54-year-old man.

She said: “I helped Chloe to understand what had happened to her so she could begin to recover. This takes time and it’s so important that we can be there for each child who goes through this trauma for as long as it takes.

“Once they feel safe and strong, they can face the trauma they’ve been through. Then, when they’re ready, we support them as they rebuild their lives and move on.”

The advert also urges members of the public to support Barnardo’s work by giving a regular gift.

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