IKEA UK and Barnardo’s have announced a new three-year national partnership to support children and young people across the UK, with a focus on young carers.
The partnership aims to have a positive impact on the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people in society, and to create more child-friendly and connected neighbourhoods whilst supporting Barnardo’s front line services at a local level.
Launching on this Sunday’s (12 May) National Children’s Day UK, it will take a child-centred approach that will see IKEA UK and Barnardo’s led by children and young people to understand how they can better support them. Young people and children will be at the heart of the partnership, taking a lead on how support, funds and expertise should be used, from reimagining spaces and taking part in new activities, to challenging policy.
Barnardo’s front line services are all within a short distance of every one of IKEA’s 22 stores across the UK, and throughout the duration of the partnership, IKEA will provide opportunities for co-workers and customers to engage and participate, starting with Barnardo’s collection tins appearing in all IKEA UK stores on 12 May.
Some stores have already started to build relationships locally, with IKEA Glasgow and IKEA Edinburgh today launching a textile take-back scheme giving customers the chance to donate unwanted clothing and soft furnishings to their local Barnardo’s centre.
Co-workers at IKEA Warrington have also already got involved, using their home-furnishing expertise to help refurbish a property, which supports young people transitioning from the care system. More stores are in the process of planning their own local activity over the coming months.
Hege Sæbjørnsen, Country Sustainability Manager at IKEA UK, said:
“At IKEA, we believe every child deserves a place to call home, a healthy start in life, a quality education, the right to play and a positive future. Together with Barnardo’s we have an amazing opportunity to create a long-term positive impact on the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people in society through sharing expertise and resources, leveraging our unique skills and scale, and more traditional fundraising.
“We want to balance our expertise and knowledge in life at home and strength as a values-led business with Barnardo’s knowledge and expertise of the needs of young carers, providing the best opportunities to support them so that they can have the same opportunities as their peers. We will do this together with more than 12,000 passionate co-workers across our business.”
Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:
“We are delighted to announce our partnership with IKEA and we’re excited to see how it develops in the next three years.
“Like us, IKEA understands that having a happy, safe childhood gives a child the best start at a bright future. We are proud to partner with a company that appreciates Barnardo’s values and ambitions.
“With young people at its heart, this partnership will make a positive impact on the lives of some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the UK.”
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