Barnardo's

The children's charity is asking people to pin pictures of their children's achievements to a virtual fridge door, in order to support children who are less fortunate

The Nation's Fridge Door
The Nation's Fridge Door

What is it?

The Nation’s Fridge Door is a new campaign by children’s charity Barnardo’s. The idea is that people will upload images of their children’s achievements – a work of art, a picture of them learning to ride a bike or of their first day at school, for example – in order to show their support for children who do not have anyone to celebrate with when they do well.

The photos that are uploaded might then be featured in Barnardo’s stores and on The Guardian website as part of the charity’s advertising campaign. The charity has also been using Twitter and the hashtag #ibelieveinchildren to post an "image of the day" from the fridge door, as well as to promote the campaign more generally.

Who is backing the campaign?

The campaign is being run in collaboration with the psychologist Donna Dawson, who says that giving children praise for their achievements has a beneficial impact on their wellbeing and future attainment. The TV presenter Cherry Healey has been enlisted to make a video explaining the campaign and why people should take part, which is featured on the website. Celebrities including the actors Fay Ripley and Andrew Lincoln have also added pictures drawn by their children to the virtual fridge.

Why now?

A poll conducted by YouGov on behalf of Barnardo’s revealed that only 9 per cent of people surveyed felt praise given to someone as a child had no effect on their success in adult life; and nearly two-thirds felt that children should be praised for their achievements every day.

What the charity says

The chief executive of Barnardo’s, Javed Khan, says: "In homes across the UK the fridge door is the hub of family life, somewhere where the triumphs of sons and daughters are displayed and shared.   

"Sadly, the children that Barnardo’s supports often face hardships that are unimaginable to most families, including homelessness, poverty and abuse. They feel they have nobody to turn to for support, let alone to celebrate their achievements.

"By taking part in our campaign to share your own child’s achievements, you will help to raise awareness of those young people who don’t have anyone to make them feel special when they do well."

Third Sector verdict

This is a unique and engaging campaign that ties in well with the start of the new school year. The design of the website itself is impressive, and picking out the best images and featuring them on social media and in Barnardo's shops is a good way to encourage people to participate.

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