Barnardos Big Active supported by ALDI and Paul O’Connell Calls for Dublin Schools to get Moving!

BARNARD0S Big Active

The Barnardos Big Active supported by ALDI is officially launched by Paul O’Connell. For a second year, the Barnardos nationwide school initiative supported by ALDI will help students across the country of all ages and abilities to focus on their own health and wellbeing, all while helping others. Barnardos is inviting both primary and secondary schools from Dublin to register at and get active to raise funds for vulnerable children and families across Ireland.    

Participating schools can choose from a range of activities based on the Body, Mind and Heart.    

  • Body – Physical challenges that take care of your body    
  • Mind – Mindfulness exercises to support positive mental health and wellbeing    
  • Heart – Promoting the importance of charity by helping others around you    

Barnardos Big Active and ALDI Ambassador Paul O’Connell said “I am thrilled to be back with Barnardos and ALDI to promote the Big Active once again – in my experience as a parent, encouraging regular exercise has huge benefits, like increasing fitness, lowering stress and creating a healthier routine. The Big Active will help both primary and secondary students across Ireland become more physically active, encourage positive mental health practices and mindfulness techniques, while, raising money for vulnerable children and families that Barnardos support.”   

Barnardos CEO Suzanne Connolly said “We know that childhood lasts a lifetime. The Barnardos Big Active supported by ALDI and Paul, creates a real focus on student’s own wellbeing. The practices and exercises within this initiative will not only help students now but can be carried with them into adulthood. Students across the country can give back to children and families who need our support more than ever, particularly during the Cost-of-Living crisis. All funds raised will go towards improving the lives of the children and families we work with.”  

Big Active, Rachel Nugent, Corporate Responsibility Manager at ALDI Ireland added “At ALDI, we are committed to working alongside Barnardos to encourage students from across the country to take care of their own health and wellbeing, which is why we are continuing to support the Big Active initiative. We are passionate about providing primary and secondary schools with the tools needed to care for both their physical and mental health. That’s why we are encouraging schools to register their interest and take part in the Big Active at .  

 As part of the Big Active – school teachers will receive all materials to support activities including personal journals for each student to track their progress.    

Louise Warburton, Primary School teacher at St Ciaran’s Mixed National School in Ballycumber, Co Offalyused the Big Active for her third and fourth class primary students last year: “When I heard about the Big Active, I felt it was something positive we could build into the day, without having to do loads of extra work. Each student that takes part receives a personal journal. This allowed them to make note of how they were feeling, and what it was like when they were happy or sad. At first, the students questioned why it mattered how they felt, but then they understood. Keeping a journal of their thoughts helped them to reflect on their feelings and better understand their emotions.”  

Register your class, start your own Big Active, and set up your own online fundraiser here.    

Discover the benefits of the campaign by signing up 

Pictured at the launch L-R were Barnardos Big Active supported by ALDI ambassador Paul O’Connell, Conor O’Donnell, (18), Barnardos CEO Suzanne Connolly, Rachel Nugent, Corporate Responsibility Manager, ALDI Ireland and Sophia Whoriskey, aged 14. Pic Credit: Patrick Bolger

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Sarah Brooks

Sarah has worked in marketing and content creation for many years. In her role at Newsgroup, she is the online editor of with a particular interest in local news and events. Sarah also works closely with our editorial team on our printed editions in Tallaght, Lucan, Clondalkin and Rathcoole/Saggart. If you have a story and would like to make contact please email Sarah at



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