Our new services projects coordinator Benji Garfield shares his thought on a very busy first 2 weeks working at Camp Simcha in this blog below …

I recently joined the Camp Simcha Services team as Services Projects Coordinator. Camp Simcha is a charity which provides support for children with serious illnesses and their families. It has been very special to see first-hand the incredible work that Camp Simcha does. I joined the team during one of the busiest times of the year and I have truly been able to gain understanding and insight into many key events in the Camp Simcha calendar.

I attended the Camp Simcha chanukah party at Flip Out Brent Cross. This saw families supported by Camp Simcha come and have a wonderful day out together. There was plenty of jumping, excitement and, of course, a fair few doughnuts. It was very heart-warming to see everyone having such a wonderful time.

Next was the annual Camp Simcha Toy Drive. This is a project which sees a huge collection of toys which are then distributed to hospitals across London. These are given to young patients and brings a smile to their faces at a very difficult time for them. The number of toys received was enormous. A massive thank you to all those who donated toys and to our wonderful and dedicated volunteers for all their hard work.

I also had the privilege of attending the Camp Simcha chanukah stall at Great Ormond Street Hospital. We handed out doughnuts and arts and craft sets to staff and patients. It was fantastic to be able to engage so positively and give over some chanukah spirit to all. A big thank you to Great Ormond Street Hospital for enabling this event to take place.

The highlight for me was children’s retreat in Northampton over the chanukah weekend. This was my first experience on a Camp Simcha retreat and I was blown away. It was a beautiful and very special experience, and I was so happy that I was able to be a part of everything. The entire retreat was planned in order to fully maximise every opportunity to give everything and more for the children. The work and dedication by my wonderful colleagues was truly remarkable. Their efforts and those of our amazing volunteers ensured the children had so much excitement and provided them with a weekend to treasure. This weekend also provided very important and necessary respite for other members of the family. My personal highlight was the talent show on motzei Shabbos. The children were able to express themselves and have their time on stage. The entire weekend was a huge success and a thoroughly rewarding experience for me personally.

I would like to thank my colleagues for welcoming me so warmly into the Camp Simcha family, and I look forward to working together with everyone. I am very excited to be a part of the team and I am looking forward to being able to contribute and help fulfil the vision and mission of Camp Simcha.