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 other serious illnesses.

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 our Hospital Outreach Programme in CHI at Crumlin, CHI at Temple Street, Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Cork University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital, Cork, and University College London Hospital.

School Outreach Programmes

Camp In Schools

Our Camp in Schools programme is designed to bring some of the fun of camp into the classroom. This post camp booster, which is designed for children who have participated in our residential programme, helps to reduce feelings of isolation in the classroom and helps the child share the fun of camp with their classmates. Each programme is tailored to meet the needs of the child considering various abilities, age, any shyness, and their classmates understanding of the role of Barretstown in their life.

This is a free programme and is activities and games focused with an emphasis on teamwork, friendship, and creating a sense of accomplishment for the class. It is available to schools across the country.

Barretstown’s School Education programme aims to create a fun, interactive and child-friendly approach to explaining the serious illness of a child in the class, whilst dispelling myths associated with it. This is a free programme that encourages children to be supportive of their classmate in school and reduces the likelihood of bullying, exclusion, confusion or anxiety. Often children living with a serious illness can look different as a result of the side effects from their treatment, or they may have various medical devices they use each day - 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 our puppets discuss the child’s illness, followed by group discussions through games and activities. The programme will be facilitated in the child’s school for their class by the Outreach Team. The Team 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.

If you’d like to enquire about the Outreach Team visiting your child’s school, please contact our Outreach Team at outreach@barretstown.org.

Get in touch

Got a question?

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