Outreach Programmes

Bringing Barretstown’s magic beyond our castle gates, to hospitals, schools and communities around Ireland

Barretstown has no boundaries!

With its fairy-tale castle, secret gardens and amazing activities, everyone knows what a magical place Barretstown is.

A wonderful mixture of Serious Fun and serious healing all rolled into one. Well, for some time now we’ve been packing some of that magic up into a big suitcase and taking it out on the road into hospitals, schools and communities around Ireland.

Our Outreach Programmes provide the opportunity to bring the magic of camp beyond the castle gates and to reach an even wider group of children and families living with cancer and serious illness.

Hospital Outreach Programme

The Hospital Outreach Programme (HOP) brings the positive, playful spirit of Barretstown to children and families in the hospital setting. By offering unique, creative and developmentally appropriate activities and interactions, we help to restore joy and laughter in a time often laden with fear, stress and uncertainty.

We work within the hospital environment to create activity based programmes focused on improving the quality of life during treatment. The Hospital Outreach Programme continues to bring the happiness and fun of the Camp’s summer programming to children living with a serious illness all year round.

We typically offer HOP in CHI at Crumlin, CHI at Temple Street, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Cork University Hospital and University College London Hospital.

School Outreach Programmes

Camp In Schools

Many campers go back to school and find it almost impossible to explain what Barretstown camp is all about to their friends. The camper becomes the star of the show for the day, and it’s a great way to deal with many of the issues that build up in children’s minds. This post camp booster helps to reduce feelings of isolation and share the fun of camp with class mates.

Each Camp in Schools session will be tailored to meet the needs of the child taking into account various abilities, age, any shyness and their classmates understanding of the role of Barretstown in their life.

Barretstown’s School Education Programme aims to create a fun, interactive and child-friendly approach to explaining what cancer is whilst dispelling myths associated with it. This is a free programme that encourages children to be supportive of their classmate who has cancer as they return to school and reduces the likelihood of bullying, exclusion, confusion or anxiety.

On returning to school, children can often look different as a result of the side effects from their treatment – this needs to be explained to the class to help them understand what they are going through and how to support them. The programme typically includes a short puppet show, in which puppets Conor and Sarah chat about cancer, followed by group discussions through games and activities. The programme can be facilitated in your child’s school for their class by the Outreach Team. The Outreach Manager will liaise with the child’s parents and teacher to tailor the programme to ensure it is age appropriate, relevant to the child’s illness and beneficial to all the class.

A similar programme can also be facilitated in primary school classes for children with Type 1 Diabetes.

If you’d like to enquire about the Outreach Team, and Conor and Sarah visiting your child’s school, contact our Outreach Programme Manager Shoni Tavendale or Paula Conlan, our Outreach Team Leader.

Get In Touch

Another exciting addition to our Outreach Programmes is an innovative programme – School to Camp. This programme allows a camper to bring their entire class to Barretstown to experience the magic of Barretstown for themselves. The class get to try out some of the camper’s favourite activities and games whilst gaining an awareness of what it’s like to be a child with a serious illness through our inclusive programming. The School to Camp is based on our Therapeutic Recreation Model and allows the camper and their classmates to try something new, take on new challenges and build on their friendships whilst most importantly, having FUN!

Get In Touch

Got a question?

Shoni manages the Outreach Programmes, please contact her if you have any queries or need any further information ...