Tag Archive: Barnardos

Prominent British Asians show their support for Barnardo’s at Annual Parliamentary Reception

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Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan and Actress Armeena Khan

Barnardo’s report, ‘Overcoming Poverty of Hope’, reveals BAME young
people’s concerns about the Economy, Jobs and Education

Celebrities Armeena Khan, Sonali Shah and Anila Chowdhry gave their support to the UK’s longest running children’s charity Barnardo’s at the charity’s Annual Parliamentary Reception on Monday 8th July.

Other prominent British Asians at the event at the House of Commons, Terrace Pavilion included actors Priyanga Burford and Meryl Fernandes; as well as lifestyle blogger Rumena Begum.

They were joined by further celebrities and Barnardo’s supporters such as actors Andy Serkis and Louisa Clein; music artist Nicola Roberts; and TV personalities Sam Thompson, Roma and Lydia Bright.

During the event, sponsored by Rt Hon Robert Halfon MP, a new Barnardo’s
report, ‘Overcoming Poverty of Hope’, which looks at the concerns young people have for the future, including climate change, Brexit and crime, drew widespread support from attendees and the charity’s celebrity supporters. The findings of the report come from a YouGov poll commissioned by the children’s charity to look at the hopes and
fears of young people.

On the day newsreader, presenter, journalist and long-time humanitarian, Natasha Kaplinsky OBE, was announced as the new President of the charity and invited to speak. Young people from Barnardo’s services also attended alongside MPs and representatives from the charity sector.

Speaking at the Reception, broadcaster Sonali Shah said, “What Barnardo’s has achieved today is not only commendable, it is a crucial part of ensuring that the next generation is empowered to speak up and campaign for change. It has been really interesting to be a part of that conversation.”

Presenter Anila Chowdhry said, “It’s an honour to be here today supporting the fantastic and inspiring charity Barnardo’s. Children and young people are the future, so it’s important that we invest in them, and give them the tools and platform to have their voices heard. I want to see every child have equal opportunity so they not only survive but thrive.”

Actress and writer Priyanga Burford said, “It’s been great to be at Barnardo’s Parliamentary Reception. The ‘Overcoming Poverty of Hope’ report shows us the heart of what concerns young people. Now that we know what the challenges are, it’s our responsibility to work together to make things better for them - which means better for all of us.”

Actress Armeena Khan said, “Barnardo’s is doing fantastic work in the UK with addressing the diverse and complex needs of children and young people. Today’s reception bears testimony to the hard work and vision of the charity, and I am keen to get involved and share my own global perspective.”

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan, said, “We are really grateful to all the celebrities, MPs and other supporters who came to the event to hear about Barnardo’s vision, values and the impact we have on the lives of the most vulnerable children in the UK.

“When young people feel there is little or no possibility of a positive future, what we call a ‘poverty of hope’, they are vulnerable to exploitation and criminality.

“Collectively, we can help young people overcome this ‘poverty of hope’ by believing in them, nurturing their talents, providing opportunities, knocking down barriers, and listening to them when it comes to decisions that affect their futures.”

Barnardo’s ‘Overcoming the Poverty of Hope’ report reveals two thirds (67 per cent) of young people believe their generation will be worse off than their parents. It also reveals that 62 per cent of 16-24 year-olds feel the government cares more about older generations than their own.

Furthermore, the report reveals how young adults from BAME backgrounds are statistically even more concerned about current issues than their mainstream counterparts. The findings highlight that Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) young people believe the economy, jobs and employment and education are three of the most important issues facing the country over the next three to five years.

The 16-24 year-olds surveyed were asked to pick what they thought were the top three most important issues facing the country over the next three to five years. The economy was one of the most important issues for 30 per cent of BAME respondents. 23 per cent said jobs and employment, 22 per cent education and 21 per cent selected crime.

For white respondents, 23 per cent said the economy was one of the most important issues, 18 per cent said jobs and employment, 16 per cent education and 17 per cent selected crime.

The responses of both BAME and white young people reveal generally they are experiencing a ‘poverty of hope’ and paints a picture of a generation who don’t feel they are listened to by society or decision-makers when it comes to challenges facing the country.

In relation to the report findings, Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said, “While material poverty is part of the problem, many children and young people today also feel there is little or no possibility of a positive future, what we call a ‘poverty of hope’.

“The voices of young people are missing from debates about the challenges facing the country. They feel ignored by society and decision makers who are focussed on the concerns of older generations.

“Many BAME young people face additional challenges - we know they are less likely to access services and unfortunately they are more likely to be involved in knife crime. This isn’t a race issue - but it is about tackling disadvantage.

“Collectively, we can help young people overcome this poverty of hope by believing in them, nurturing their talents, providing opportunities, knocking down barriers and listening to them when it comes to decisions that affect their futures.”

Kiran Dhillon, 26, from Ilford, grew up in care since the age of two. She
said, “I think young people are just put to one side by the government because there is always an excuse about money. There’s no funding and there is no investment in the youth.

“The fact is they are our next generation; they are our future doctors, social workers and lawyers, all of that. The core issue of what young people are facing in their communities is being lost.”

Recommendations of the Report
Barnardo’s is making 11 recommendations to Government, to help young people overcome their ‘poverty of hope’, which include:
· Children and adolescent mental health services are in need of urgent and
sustained investment, which could come from the £20.5 bn a year NHS funding settlement.
· The Government should ensure all children, young people and parents have access to education and guidance on safe social media use.
· The Government should commit to increasing investment in community youth work and safe spaces for young people to provide targeted early intervention in vulnerable communities.
· The Government should commit to funding a long term, multi-agency strategy to tackle the root causes of youth violence. This approach should provide young people access to housing and a route into education, training and employment, to help them secure a brighter future.
· Children who are victims of criminal exploitation and forced into gangs, to carry knives, traffic drugs, or commit other offences should not be criminalised. These children should be treated as victims.

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Teachers need to be aware of FGM ‘cutting season’ signs

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Leethen Bartholomew, Head of the National FGM Centre

With the school summer holidays fast approaching, Barnardo’s is advising teachers to look out for key signs a girl may be at risk of undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) abroad.

The so-called FGM ‘cutting season’ begins as schools break up towards the end of July, when girls could potentially be flown overseas to unwittingly undergo the illegal and harmful procedure.

Statistics reveal 1,990 women and girls in England were

treated for FGM during the first quarter 2019

Teachers who suspect a pupil is being taken abroad for this purpose should follow normal safeguarding procedures. But the National FGM Centre, which is run by Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association, says these professionals can only help protect children by knowing what signs to look out for.

Indications might include a child:

  • Confiding she is going to have a ‘special procedure’, or attend a special occasion to ‘become a woman’.
  • Talking about looking forward to a long holiday to a country where the practice is prevalent.
  • Approach a teacher or another adult if she’s aware or suspects she’s at immediate risk.
  • Telling her friends about FGM.

The child’s parents may give the following clues:

  • Say they are taking their child out of the country for a prolonged period of time
  • Ask permission to take their daughter out of school during term time.
  • Talk about looking forward to a long holiday to a country where her relatives live and where the practice is prevalent.
  • Mention they are going to a country with a high prevalence of FGM, especially during holiday periods.

Teachers should be aware of these clues, when combined with other risk factors. The National FGM Centre trains professionals to protect girls at risk from FGM. It also trains them about how to spot the signs, which may suggest girls have had FGM. These include difficulty in walking or sitting down comfortably, taking a long time in the toilet, or a significant change in behaviour such as becoming withdrawn.

This is as recent figures published by NHS Digital show that communities still have a long way to go before new cases are stopped. According to the statistics there were 1,990 women and girls in England treated for FGM during the first quarter of this year and, of those, 1,015 were newly recorded cases.

FGM took place before the age of 18 in 80% of the cases. But the statistics reveal it can take years before a medical professional is aware of it – often during an appointment with an obstetrician or gynaecologist.

Leethen Bartholomew, Head of the National FGM Centre said, “Much more needs to be done to support survivors of FGM and protect girls who are at risk. FGM is child abuse and no girl should ever have to live with the harmful physical and emotional consequences of this practice.

“We hope our reminder of the signs will help not just teachers but all agencies to prevent FGM from happening by identifying girls at risk and helping to prosecute those who fail to protect girls from this type of abuse.”

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Honorary Doctorate for first non-white CEO in Barnardo’s 150 year history

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BARNARDOS: Chief executive Javed Khan is the first non-white CEO in the charity’s 150-year history

One of the leading figures in the UK charity sector has been honoured by the University of Salford. 

Javed Khan, Chief Executive of children’s charity Barnardo’s, received an honorary doctorate in Business Administration at a ceremony at the Lowry, MediaCityUK.

As a British Pakistani, he is the first non-white CEO in Barnardo’s 150 year history.  

Javed Khan with Margaret Rowe, Dean at Salford University

At Barnardo’s, Mr Khan leads a staff team of over 8,000, with 23,000 volunteers, making it the UK’s largest national children’s charity. Last year the charity helped transform the lives of more than 301,000 of the UK’s most vulnerable children, young people, parents and carers.

After gaining a BSc degree in Mathematics from the University of Salford in the 1980s he began his career as a teacher in the West Midlands, and then made rapid progress through the education sector holding posts of Head of Mathematics, Assistant Principal in a large further education college, through to Director of Education in local government. 

Javed has dedicated his life to public service and supporting the most vulnerable. In 2016 Javed has also won the ‘Spirit of Britain’ award at the prestigious British Muslim Awards.

Mr Khan said: “I had a fantastic experience at Salford University, which gave me a brilliant education in Mathematics and in life. I’m really grateful to the professors who believed in me, and the friends who inspired me – it’s thanks to Salford that I have got to where I am today.

“Ever since graduating, I’ve worked with young people and communities to achieve a positive future, first as a Maths teacher, and then as a leader in Education and in Local Government, and now as Chief Executive of Barnardo’s.

“It’s a great privilege to be awarded this honorary doctorate and to come back to Salford to share the journey that I have been on. I hope it sends a message to young people across the UK that regardless of where they’re from, or the challenges they have faced,  the future is theirs for the taking.

Mercy for mankind: Youngsters aim to surpass £500,000 fundraising effort

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The largest youth organisation in Britain with some 700 members, some as young as five-years-old, took part in a £500,000 fundraising effort.

Members of the AMYA from Bradford as well youth from all across the country held its 'Mercy for Mankind' Charity Challenge on Saturday 19th August in Fitz Park, Keswick.

This year welcomes the 33rd Charity Challenge, which first began in 1985. The group says that the purpose of all these activities is to engender the spirit of discipline and service to the wider community irrespective of people’s beliefs, race, or gender.

Their motto ‘Love for All, Hatred for None’ underpins this ethos.

Since its inception AMYA has raised in excess of £2 million for UK charities. The event is generally hosted in a different location each year, with previous locations including the Tower of London, Hyde Park, Battersea Park, Hampshire and the Yorkshire Dales.

UK charities to benefit from the fundraising include The Royal British Legion, Save the Children, NSPCC, Barnardos, CLIC Sargent, UNICEF, British Red Cross, Cumbria Community Foundation and others.

Wadood Daud, Regional youth leader for North East said: “We raise hundreds of thousands of pounds every year for British charities. This year again, many of us are travelling to the Lake for the Mercy for Mankind Charity Challenge to raise funds for the most needy in our society without any distinction of faith, colour or creed.”

"The annual charity challenge is the highlight of the year. This year the half marathon in the Lake District was fantastic, a proper challenge in a lovely part of the world! And all that whilst raising thousands of for British charities- its really is one of the best annual events for me,” commented Qasim Amini.

Nasrullah Saeed said: "During the charity challenge, a lady asked me what was taking place and when I told here about the charity walk she donated some money and she thanked me as well for taking part.

“She already knew about our youth organisation because of our flood relief work last year and she was also very happy to see us again. I really enjoyed the positive and welcoming atmosphere."