Late Late Toy Show magic spreads joy



Inspired to donate by incredible special guests Saoirse Ruane and Adam King, viewers of The Late Late Toy Show helped to make it a night to remember in over six million ways last November.

For the first time in its history, the show offered the opportunity for viewers to help children in families in need through the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal, and the level of donation surpassed all expectations.   

Half of the proceeds will be shared among Barnardos Ireland, Children’s Health Foundation and Children’s Books Ireland. The rest of the monies in the fund will be made available for children’s charities in an open call for grants to be managed by The Community Foundation for Ireland and Community Foundation Northern Ireland. 

The grants have been awarded as follows: 

  • Barnardos- €1.5 million
  • Children’s Health Foundation- €1.5 million
  • Children’s Books Ireland- €302,690
  • Community Foundation Northern Ireland- €662,335

The remaining €2.7 million will be made available for children’s charities in an open call for grants to be managed by The Community Foundation for Ireland, RTÉ’s registered charity partner. More details on the grant application process are available at

Dee Forbes, Director-General RTÉ, said “The Late Late Toy Show holds a special place in the hearts and homes of so many families across the country, and now around the world. The RTÉ Toy Show Appeal was an idea that seemed to really resonate with our audience, and their incredible generosity will achieve great things. It is a legacy we want to continue to build on and hopefully this is the beginning of an exciting journey in helping many more children in years to come.” 

Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland commented: “The generosity of Late Late Toy Show viewers is being turned into actions to benefit children and families. Young lives will be transformed. Frontline services which engage, protect, and care for children are often a lifeline. What we have witnessed is a huge public endorsement of that work with an outpouring of support, the likes of which has not been seen before.” 

Barnardos, the Children’s Health Foundation, and Children’s Books Ireland today outlined more details as to how the grants will be used to improve the lives of thousands of children in 2021 and for years to come. 

Children’s Health Foundation will use the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal grant to support children and their families who attend CHI hospitals and urgent care centres on all stages of their treatment journey, by funding vital and life-saving equipment to enable faster diagnoses, improve treatments and outcomes; by funding treats, activities and entertainment that bring joy and smiles to sick children; through new services like a phlebotomy service tailored for children with Autism and through supporting new seed research to develop the cures of tomorrow.

Barnardos will use the money granted to provide specialist bereavement support and counselling for grieving children, support interventions for families in crisis, the creation of therapeutic spaces in our centres, which 20,000 children and families will have access to, and the development of best practice programmes to support the most vulnerable children at risk.  

Children’s Books Ireland will work closely with primary schools over a three-year period – giving them a substantial collection of contemporary books that reflects the diversity and inclusiveness of modern Ireland. Each school will be supported by an artist as a Champion of Reading who will work to develop a culture of reading, and the results will be measured so that Children’s Books Ireland can advocate for every child’s right to be a reader, regardless of their circumstances.

Ryan Tubridy said: “We want to offer a huge thank you to every single person who donated. We were quite simply overwhelmed with the response from an audience who have been so, so giving. It’s safe to say our expectations were exceeded, beyond all our hopes. Children like Saoirse and Adam inspired and lifted the nation when we really needed it. It’s important that we look after them and children across Ireland for years to come through the RTÉ Toy Show Appeal. This money is really going to make a difference – thank you all.”