Actor Tom Vaughan Lawlor, who plays gang boss Nidge on Love/Hate, has revealed his role on the show raises sense of "social responsibility".
The IFTA winner, who has become a household name after four successful seasons of the RTE gangland drama, says his experience on the show gives him unique insight into poverty in Ireland.
"During Love/Hate we film in some of Dublin's most deprived areas, so our sense of social responsibility has deepened, without question," he explained.
"It's been an eye-opener. Thats why I wanted to get involved with Barnardos."
Barnardos chose Vaughan Lawlor as their ambassador earlier this year and the two have been working together throughout 2013 raising awareness, while volunteering hands-on at several project centres.
"My wife came with me and we'd just dropped our son off at nursery," he said. "We came to the Barnardos centre and they told us about the kids and the households they'd left that morning.
"The intensity of it all was so staggering. These were three and four year olds. On the face of it they were coming to Barnardos and having great fun, getting to play with their friends.
"But the work and the learning behind everything the children were doing while in Barnardos is so impressive. The staff are fantastic and so committed to what they are doing everything is about whats best for these little children.
"It's incredible to see the work Barnardos does. These children handle huge adult problems, he says. I find it very upsetting.
"I'm just glad they have this amazing place to come and have a hot meal and a sense of structure and responsibility, and that they're nurtured and feel safe and they can play at the facilities are amazing."