1. ITV Report

Text Santa: how money raised will help Barnardo's

With the help of Barnardo's Natalie does not have to spend so much time looking after her mother Photo: ITV News Central

Christmas is a time for children, but for some it is anything but magical. One charity which helps children is Barnardo's.

Barnardo's is one of the oldest children's charities, founded by Thomas Barnardo in 1867. He was appalled at the living conditions and exploitation of children in the East End of London. He set up something called the "ragged school" to protect the most vulnerable.

Text Santa have chosen Barnardo's as one of the six UK charities that will benefit from ITV's Christmas fundraiser which kicks off tomorrow night on ITV.

Barnardo's supports the "Time For Me" project in Halesowen in the West Midlands Credit: ITV News Central

Barnardo's supports more than 900 projects in communities throughout the country. One of them is the "Time For Me" project in Halesowen in the West Midlands. It is for children aged between 8 and 13, whose parents are misusing drugs or alcohol.

Natalie came to the project when she was just 7. Her mother was drinking heavily and had mental health issues. These had an enormous impact on Natalie's life. She was very withdrawn, had no friends, and felt she had to care for her mother, rather than her mother caring for her.

By mixing with other children in similar circumstances, and being taken on trips and holidays, as well as learning how to deal with her home life, Natalie has turned into a confident young woman.

She and her mother have taken part in Barnardo's "Steps Together" programme. It means her mother no longer drinks and is able to provide a stable home for her daughter.

To see how much money ITV has raised through the Text Santa Big Bag Back click here.

More on this story