#Isolatedbutnotalone has been the Camp Simcha hashtag on our social media during the Covid 19 emergency. Never has that felt truer, both in terms of the support we are giving our families – and for the Jewish community as a whole, who are stepping up to help us be there for those who need us more than ever right now.
So many Camp Simcha families have very vulnerable children and they are understandably terrified. In addition, this crisis has meant much of their normal support system may have diminished or disappeared entirely.
Camp Simcha’s staff team, Family Liaison Officers, therapists and consultants are working round the clock to make sure all our families feel they are not alone – and, as always, our volunteers are finding creative ways to be there for the families they are so dedicated to.
Remotely, our FLOs are in constant contact with parents via calls, virtual support groups and coffee mornings, making sure they have everything they need. They are arranging crisis household support and food packages – demand for which has gone up 70 per cent; organising hospital transport for the ongoing treatment admissions and medical emergencies, and safe night-time respite support for exhausted parents of children requiring 24/7 care.
At the same time, our qualified therapists are looking after families’ emotional well-being, delivering online arts at home and counselling sessions. Hundreds of arts, crafts and games packages, as well as bespoke treats, are being distributed to lift the spirits of quarantined children. We even made a special My Little Pony Birthday party remotely for three-year-old Maya and her friends.
On our website a new parent portal offers a range of activities for parents and children, from magic shows and activities to educational advice and exercise classes.
Throughout this crisis, children are still being diagnosed with serious and life-threatening illnesses and we have been continuously receiving new referrals.
Camp Simcha has always vowed to be there for families whenever they need us, however they need us, for as long as they need us. That is still the case and will be throughout this emergency and beyond.