Thanks to the Jewish Weekly, The Jewish Chronicle and The Jewish News for featuring this article.
Camp Simcha has raised £3.29million in a 36-hour online appeal with a record 600 plus members of the community coming together to fundraise on the charity’s behalf. With ‘team leaders’ in London, Manchester, Leeds, Gateshead, Glasgow, Gibraltar, Israel, South Africa, USA and Australia, over 21,000 donations were made to the charity’s campaign to support its work helping UK families with seriously ill children.
More than a quarter of the team leaders fundraising for the appeal were present or past families who have benefitted from the charity’s support.
Camp Simcha chief executive Neville Goldschneider said they overwhelmed by the community’s “truly incredible generosity”, which has secured the charity’s future in very uncertain times.
“We are humbled by the support we have received and so grateful for the amazing success of this campaign, which has ensured we can continue to be there for each and every family that needs us. “We do not know what the future holds, both in terms of fundraising, but also in terms of the impact delayed diagnoses could have on our referral numbers. Since January we have seen a dramatic rise in new cases and, throughout Covid-19, an increased demand for many of our services. “The appeal’s success will also give us the confidence to continue the development of critical new services which we have been piloting in response to community needs. This includes our Mental Health pilot project, launched a year ago, and an increased range of support for siblings.”
“Having a seriously ill child is painful and stressful in any circumstances, but Covid-19 has made everything so much more overwhelming and terrifying for our families. “They are juggling their ill child’s complex medical needs with their other children, together with home-schooling during lockdown, their jobs and all the usual pressures of everyday life. For some, there is also the stress of cancelled medical appointments for their child’s ongoing treatment, and emergency hospital admissions, made so much harder due to the one-parent policy.
“All of this combined with the isolation their situation brings, has meant Camp Simcha’s practical, therapeutic and emotional support services are needed more than ever.”
Among the Camp Simcha families, who were fundraising on the charity’s behalf, was the Stern family from Manchester, who have been supported by Camp Simcha since four-year-old Ari was born with complex congenital heart disease and a highly compromised immune system.
On their fundraising page, they said: “We could not imagine life without Camp Simcha. Whether it is our Big Sister volunteer for each sibling, starting from the week Ari was born – and now for Ari as well; hot meals for the whole family when in hospital or after a hard day of appointments; support packages… Chanukah and Purim parties; day trips; constant delivery of activities through lockdown; art sessions; coffee mornings; a listening ear from our unbelievable family liaison officer (who quickly became just ‘family’); therapy, and the indescribable family retreats.
“Your donation will literally help a family like ours go to sleep at night knowing that no matter how difficult the situation, Camp Simcha will be there to do whatever is humanly possible to make the whole family’s challenge more bearable.”