Ancestry UK

Sharonmore Project, Newtownabbey, Antrim, Northern Ireland

Barnardo's Sharonmore Project, based in Newtownabbey, began in 1981 as a replacement for it Macedon home at nearby Whiteabbey. The scheme had a Parent Unit, located at Ballyduff House, 21 Sharonmore Park, Newtownabbey, which was the administrative hub. There were also two purpose-built living units known as Ballyduff and Ravelston. Due to an insufficient number of referrals, the Ballyduff unit was closed in 1985 and its children and staff transferred to Ravelston. Both units had a 'sleeping in' room for staff on call at night, and a spare room that could be used for parents and friends. In addition, two satellite units were established at Ballysillan and Derrycoole, both ordinary houses and housing four young people each in single bedrooms. Derrycoole was closed in 1996.

Unlike its predecessor, Sharonmore was community based, with children making use of local schools, churches , and recreational and medical facilities. The scheme came to an end in 1996.

In 2014, Sharonmore was one of thirteen establishments examined by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIAI). After reviewing several incidents involving staff and residents involved in the project, including a £5,000 compensation payment by Barnardo's to one former resident, the Inquiry concluded that there had been no systemic failure by Barnardo's in how these events had been dealt with.


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  • Barnardo, Syrie Louise, and Marchant, James Memoirs of the Late Dr Barnardo (Hodder & Stoughton, 1907)
  • Batt, J.H. Dr. Barnardo: The Foster-Father of "Nobody's Children" (S.W. Partridge, 1904)
  • Bready, J. Wesley Doctor Barnardo (Allen & Unwin, 1930)
  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Rose, June For the Sake of the Children: Inside Dr. Barnardo's: 120 years of caring for children (Hodder & Stoughton, 1987)
  • Wagner, Gillian Barnardo (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1979)