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Seriously ill children supported by Camp Simcha enjoyed individual family outings with trips to Paradise Wildlife Park, Blackpool Zoo, farms and quad-biking.
While the charity could not arrange the usual group activities it runs at this time of year, the family day-trips, run within Government guidelines and with everything catered for and organised by Camp Simcha, offered a Covid-safe alternative.
“Life is very difficult and isolating for families we support at the moment,” says Camp Simcha Head of Services Daniel Gillis. “The individual outings have been a huge boost and a chance for families to spend happy, carefree time together, making joyful memories despite all they go through in their day to day. We have had some wonderful feedback.”
Camp Simcha parent Rivka Stern from Prestwich, Manchester, whose son Ari, four, has a serious heart condition, spent a day out at Smithills Open Farm with the family: her husband Yehuda, daughters Zehava. Penina and Aviva, Ari and their newest arrival Davidi, who is just five weeks old.
“Ari’s condition impacts his immunity levels, so Covid-19 has been very worrying and we have all had to be extra careful,” explained Rivka. “The children didn’t go back to school in the summer when their friends did, and we have not been on a day out since March. When restrictions lifted, we all carried on shielding.
“To spend a day together having fun as a family, with everything organised for us in an environment which felt safe, was amazing. The children were so excited – especially because we were all out together.”