A child in a kayak



Barretstown, based in County Kildare in Ireland, offers free, specially designed camps and programmes for children and their families living with a serious illness, supported behind the scenes by 24-hour on-site medical and nursing care. All the children and families come to Barretstown free of charge. Everything, including accommodation, food and medical assistance, is provided at no cost to the family. Barretstown is recognised as a centre of excellence in childhood cancer care and other serious illnesses. Their aim is to rebuild the lives of children affected by serious illness, and their families, through a life-changing Therapeutic Recreation programme in a safe, fun and supportive environment. They believe that every child with a serious illness should enjoy their childhood.

The charity was set up by American actor Paul Newman with the goal of letting children living with serious illness simply be children and have fun. As well as offering camps for the whole family, they also offer sibling camps, bereavement camps and camps for children, giving them independence within a safe setting.



“At Barretstown we are incredibly grateful to have a partner like Center Parcs. Working with an organisation who shares our ethos of the importance of bringing families together to create magic memories has been, and continues to be, a wonderful experience. Our mission is to rebuild the lives of children, and their families, affected by serious illness in a safe, fun and supportive environment, through our life-changing therapeutic camps and programmes. Since the very beginning of our partnership with Center Parcs, they have demonstrated their dedication to Barretstown and their shared belief in our mission. We are grateful for their support every day, as they continue to work hard to raise awareness and vital funds in aid of children living with serious illness and their families. Childhood stops for children living with serious illness. At Barretstown, we Press Play on childhood.” Dee Ahearn, CEO, Barretstown


Since our partnership began in 2019, we have raised almost €150,000 through a mixture of guest donations, corporate match-funding and staff fundraising. The team have also got involved with volunteering, including supporting Barretstown’s virtual camps during the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering activity kits to families across Ireland and even moving into the camp for two weeks to help out with sessions.


Girl playing playground game
Child in banana outfit running across grass
Children playing in a canoe
Family laughing together outside a castle
Group playing outside of lodge


Find out more:


Twitter/Facebook: @Barretstown

Instagram: @barretstown_camp