Camp Simcha helping children with IBD
The charity’s support is not only for families who have a child with a life-limiting or life-threatening illness: it can step in when children have any serious condition, short or long-term, which is drastically impacting their day to day life. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is one example of such a condition where Camp Simcha is making a difference to families.
Whether it is sending a specially trained volunteer to be with siblings or the child who is unwell; providing respite and meals during hospital stays; tutoring if a child is missing a lot of school due to illness or just a Family Liaison Officer being available to help in any way they can, Camp Simcha’s philosophy is that the most effective to way to help a sick child is to improve things for the whole family. Our support is tailored to meet the assessed needs of the family.
It does this by providing a wide range of 24/7 practical and emotional support services for the parents and powerful positive experiences for the children, including the siblings who are often the forgotten sufferers when a child is seriously ill. The charity presently reaches over 650 family members across the UK, operating in London, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, Bristol and Gateshead.
Each family is allocated a local Family Liaison Officer whose role is to support the parents and tailor the services to their family’s needs.
Camp Simcha now offers a range of 21 services. In addition to the Family Liaison Officers, families may have ‘Big Brothers’ and ‘Sisters’, who are special friends to the sick child and also the siblings. Still young themselves – usually aged 18-25 – Camp Simcha Big Brothers and Sisters are specially trained to make a difference when it will really count. They bring treats and take children on outings and to Camp Simcha events. Children coping with serious health issues can benefit greatly from knowing that their Big Brother or Big Sister will be there for them and siblings can have someone who will give them extra attention and support.
Other services which Camp Simcha can provide include benefits advice, hospital transports, tutoring, summer schemes, therapeutic art and music sessions, retreats and also outings and parties for families. The charity’s package of support is tailored to fit the needs of each family.
Camp Simcha’s services are provided free of charge to families from across the spectrum of Jewish observance and affiliation.