As part of our awareness campaign, Camp Simcha was joined by children we support and Simi the monkey, our mascot, to make a short film. Here our Head of Marketing Emma Shrimsley tells you all about it.

A few weeks back I had the privilege of spending the morning with Aaron, Abi, Dina, Joshua, Lucy and Rebecca – some children Camp Simcha supports. We were also joined by our monkey mascot Simi as we met to make a film for Camp Simcha – and while they say never work with animals or children, that couldn’t have been further from the truth in this case.

The film is part of a wider awareness-raising campaign to support Camp Simcha in its mission to ensure no Jewish family with a seriously ill child has to cope without our support.

In conversation with Simi – and some silent movie style signs, the children aged seven to 16, answered various questions about what Camp Simcha means to them and their families. The result was magic.

It isn’t always easy to sum up the real impact Camp Simcha has for families in a few words. There are so many services, activities and thoughtful bespoke aspects to the ways we support each family that it can feel impossible to the show the full picture. But these children managed to do just that.

Candid, touching, moving and, at points, show-stealing these young people blew us away with their maturity, strength and open-ness.
Lucy, who suffers from epilepsy, talked about her Camp Simcha ‘Big Sister’ volunteer Tammy who helped give her confidence and skills she never thought she would have.

Aaron, aged eight, was joined by his sister Dina who spoke about all the support her family were given every time Aaron was in hospital, while he told us he loves the dog therapy. Abi – diagnosed with a rare benign facial tumour aged just six – described how therapeutic and joyful her art sessions were; and Joshy, who came along with his sister Rebecca, told us how he loved the Camp Simcha entertainers who cheered him up when he was sad during his chemotherapy.

The children all spoke from the heart. It was humbling to watch and, at the same time, wonderful. Please have a watch here – and share, to help us reach each and every family that needs Camp Simcha’s support.