A magical Camp Simcha touring float brought balloons, juggling, music – and most importantly, joy, to seriously ill children the charity supports. Touring the neighbourhoods of London, the float brought the fun of the charity’s annual summer scheme direct to the doorstep of families who have been shielding with their very vulnerable children.
Camp Simcha Head of Services Daniel Gillis said: “Our Keshet summer day scheme normally brings a huge boost to our families. The children we support get to experience some of the activities their peers enjoy in the holidays, while parents have some much-needed respite. While Covid has prevented us from running it in the usual style, we were determined to find a way to bring some of that summer fun to them.”
Some 100 children throughout Barnet, Borehamwood, Elstree, Finchley, Golders Green, Hackney, Hendon and Islington received a visit from the Camp Simcha float. Arriving on the scene with music and confetti, the children enjoyed entertainment from a balloon modeller, a stilt walker, bubbles, Simi the Monkey – and a chance to sing along to their favourite songs. The fun didn’t stop when the float went on its way, with each family receiving a box with craft sets, magazines and a smoothie-maker with the ingredients, ready to use.
Single mum Gina Greenwood, from Bushey, said she felt overwhelmed to see her children’s excitement when the float arrived. Her son Jake, 11, twin to Harry and brother to Ella, 14, has short gut syndrome, which has had life-threatening complications over the years.
“I suddenly heard the boys screaming ‘Camp Simcha are here, they’re here’,” she said. “I went outside and it was the most magical sight – a rainbow of confetti and balloons for the boys. It all felt so safe, with everything wiped before they were given it. Then they both started singing along to Abba on the microphone; they were standing on the drive way belting out Mamma Mia, having the most awesome time.
“It has been such a hard few months, shielding for 16 weeks and really barely seeing anyone since then. But the steady stream of treats and activities from Camp Simcha has truly kept me from breaking – and this was just unbelievable. Then came the gift box with the smoothie-maker which was the best treat afterwards. It really was such a great day for them.”
Thanks to the JC, Jewish News and The Jewish Weekly for featuring this story.