Charity Camp Simcha, which provides nationwide practical, emotional and therapeutic support to families with seriously ill children, has raised over £2.85million in its ‘Make the Difference’ campaign.

During the 36-hour appeal, 426 team pages hosted by people throughout the UK, as well as Jersey, Israel, Gibraltar and South Africa, received over 13,700 donations – raising vital funds for the charity’s annual £2.8million cost of providing its services.

It has been two years since Camp Simcha’s last Match Funding Campaign and with no statutory finance, the charity is entirely reliant on donations.

The rapidly escalating cost of living, following two very hard pandemic years has meant more and more families are turning to Camp Simcha in crisis, explains the charity’s chief executive Neville Goldschneider.

“In the past year we supported over 1,400 family members; many who we are presently helping need more from us than they previously did. The amazing communal support we have received over the past 2 days will help ensure we can be there for each and every family who needs Camp Simcha.

“Even in the most difficult of times, our wonderful community has stepped up and been so incredibly generous; we are overwhelmed and beyond grateful.

“Camp Simcha cannot operate on waiting lists because when a family needs our support, they need it immediately; during the 36 hours of the campaign alone Camp Simcha received three referrals. We hope the success of this campaign ensures that even with the pressures of inflation and rising referrals, we will be able to say ‘yes’ to everyone who needs our support.”

Camp Simcha parent Katie Hainbach, whose daughter Leia has a rare and life-limiting mitochondrial condition, spoke in the charity’s campaign film about how vital their help has been.

“When you have an unwell child the costs are just enormous; you don’t have the ability to have two parents working full-time … a lot of the help we receive from Camp Simcha we just couldn’t afford by ourselves,” says Ms Hainbach.

“Straight away we knew Camp Simcha were going to be such a huge support to us. That Jewish ethos is really obvious in what they do. It’s very much about making sure you are really well supported by the whole Camp Simcha community.”