A picnic box full of treats brought a much-needed boost to Manchester Camp Simcha families thanks the efforts of two of our volunteers.

Nadia Mechlowitz and Shana Jacobs, both 19 and from Salford, organised and delivered the goodie boxes, which were filled with fresh baked goods – bagels, muffins, croissants and deli treats – and packaged up with ribbons.

“We wanted to do something for families and just thought this would be a nice surprise,” said Nadia. “We had a few other volunteers helping us with deliveries so that everyone got their picnic box while everything was fresh.

“Although we left the boxes at the front door and then walked away after ringing the bell, we were lucky enough to see one little girl open the door as we were driving away. She looked at the box and then beamed when she saw what it was – and it just felt so great to see how happy it made her.”

Camp Simcha parent Chava Erlanger from Prestwich, whose teenage son has a very severe form of ulcerative colitis, was one of the recipients. Chava – who also works as one of Camp Simcha’s art teachers –  had been running virtual art sessions for the charity at the beginning of lockdown, before her son’s condition deteriorated and he was hospitalised.

After four weeks he came home but is now on drugs which supress his immune response so he is particularly vulnerable and, therefore, shielding.

“You cannot imagine what a lift it brings when you get a treat like this from Camp Simcha,” explained Chava. “My son’s situation is so isolating and stressful and exhausting for us both in so many ways. Camp Simcha has been great with hospital transports and crisis meals, as well as books for my son while he was hospitalised, but the treats also mean so much. You can’t go out and get yourself a coffee even, but then a picnic box arrives full of lovely stuff. It may not seem like a big thing but the difference it makes to your day is huge.”

Thank you to the Jewish Telegraph for featuring this story