We had some very special visitors to Barretstown over the weekend… and are delighted to welcome Barry Keoghan to the Barretstown family as our newest ambassador! Barry visited camp at the weekend to help us launch the Aladina Studios along with two other superheroes, Barretstown campers Alex and Cal. The Aladina Studios are a state-of-the art facility that will help us deliver Barretstown Live, our virtual programmes, directly to children’s homes and hospital beds, as well as being used as a new activity space for campers to enjoy here in Barretstown. Funded by the Aladina Foundation, the new studios will help Barretstown reach more children than ever before.
Speaking about the studio launch, Barry said “Acting has always been an outlet for me, and I love it – which is why I’m so proud to come on board as an ambassador for Barretstown and to be a part of this incredible new studio launch. The studio will allow Barretstown children the same opportunity to express themselves creatively and have some really great fun doing it. And I hope to be back to give a few acting lessons, so we continue to bring Irish talent to the global stage!”
Speaking about the launch, Dee Ahearn, Chief Executive at Barretstown, said “Due to the Covid-19 crisis, Barretstown had to shut its gates and begin delivering a virtual camp experience to our families from two temporary studios we put in place in March 2020. This allowed Barretstown to continue to serve our children and their families, during a time when they were more isolated than ever before. One benefit from the experience was that our virtual programmes are now reaching children who would otherwise not be able to come to camp because of their diagnosis or complex medical needs. This led us to recognise the value of continuing to deliver programmes virtually to this new audience in a new purpose build space, as well as providing an exciting new activity space for the thousands of children and family members due to come to Barretstown this year.”
The Aladina Foundation, who have partnered with Barretstown since 2006 to fund Spanish children to attend Barretstown’s unique therapeutic programmes have funded the majority of the project. Barretstown has also received a grant from the RTÉ Comic Relief fund which has funding the purchase of the technical equipment.
Speaking about the new studio complex Paco Arango, Founder of The Aladina Foundation, said: “Aladina has worked closely and supported Barretstown for many years. As a Director and Producer of films, it is with great pride that we now provide the camp with the Aladina Studios. A place where kids can learn and fully indulge in the field of the visual arts. Some more terrific serious fun!”
Barry also treated our campers on-site to a special screening of his Marvel movie ‘Eternals’ when he was at camp, much to everyone’s delight. Thank you Barry, and see you again soon!